The Labour Party has launched a new Ethnic Communities Policy promising a more supportive and fairer environment for the ethnic communities in New Zealand under a new Labour government after the election.

The Policy was announced by Michael Wood, Labour Spokesperson for Ethnic Communities on Thursday, September 7, in Manukau, South Auckland.

“We recognise in particular that ethnic communities in New Zealand seek opportunities to live in safe communities, to succeed and contribute back to New Zealand, to be treated fairly and on their merits, and to build lives in a respectful and tolerant community,” said Michael Wood, Labour Spokesperson for Ethnic Communities.

Among other things, the Party is committing to upgrade the current Office of Ethnic Affairs to the Ministry of Ethnic Communities.

The Party is promising 60 new community patrol cars over the period of next three years to keep the community safe.

The Party is also promising to establish a unit of twelve Victims of Crime Advocates who will be empowered to co-ordinate government agencies to provide swift and co-ordinated support to victims.

This will be at the cost of $1.2million opex (operational expenditure) per year ongoing.

It seems that the Party has also taken a note of growing number of stories in media and public life where large numbers of highly skilled migrants are not able to be absorbed in New Zealand economy and secure decent employments relevant to their skills forcing many to drive taxis and doing other relatively less skilled jobs.

Labour is promising to conduct a high level review of the reasons why highly qualified migrants are often not able to get jobs in their fields of expertise and develop policy initiatives to remove barriers.

The Party is also offering to run a two year scheme within the public service to ensure that there are equitable opportunities for diverse communities to advance to senior positions.

There is a provision for a ‘blind’ job application process for senior positions in public sector.  

Key Highlights:

  • Deliver 1000 new frontline community-based police officers to work at the community level, deterring and solving the crime.
  • Deal with the root causes of crime, providing jobs, education, and hope for young people so that they become productive members of society
  • Establish a unit of twelve Victims of Crime Advocates who will be empowered to co-ordinate government agencies to provide swift and co-ordinated support to victims.
  • Provide financial support to Community Patrols NZ to deliver twenty new patrol cars each year for three years, and twelve paid volunteer co-ordinators to increase the reach of community patrols on local streets.
  • Work with police and the Ministry of Justice to provide guidelines to small business owners about their rights when confronted by offenders.
  • Run a voluntary trial civic engagement course for new and recent migrants to support their participation in New Zealand’s civic life and access to community services.
  • Conduct a high-level review of the reasons why highly qualified migrants are often not able to get jobs in their fields of expertise and develop policy initiatives to remove barriers
  • Within the public service run a two-year pilot scheme to ensure that there are equitable opportunities for diverse communities to advance to senior positions.
  • Structured mentoring for public servants from ethnic communities who want to develop their careers.
  • The development of a programme that pro-actively encourages diverse communities to apply for senior positions across the state services
  • ‘Blind’ job applications for senior positions in which name and country of origin are removed from the initial job application.