Ethnic Affairs

Emergency planning must acknowledge cultural and linguistic diversity

Labour is calling on the Government to recognise our cultural and linguistically diverse communities in its new national civil emergency management plan, Labour’s Associate Ethnic Affairs spokesperson Raymond Huo says.

“New Zealand has a vibrant multicultural dimension that we should not only celebrate, but recognise practically in terms of how we support our communities in times of need.

“However, as Multicultural New Zealand pointed out, there is little recognition in the current draft plan of the diversity of New Zealand communities.

Council told to think again on ash scattering

Plans to make grieving families seek permission before scattering the ashes of loved ones and charge them for the privilege need to be reconsidered, Labour’s Ethnic Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff says.

“Auckland Council’s proposals seem heavy handed, unnecessary and bureaucratic.

“There has been insufficient consultation with the public and in particular with ethnic communities before proposing the restrictions. Nor has the council made a solid case for why the restrictions are necessary.

Chinese Language Skills Critical to New Zealand’s Future

New Zealand must become more multi-lingual to reflect its increasingly multi-cultural character, says Labour’s Spokesperson on Ethnic Affairs Phil Goff.

Phil Goff congratulated MP Raymond Huo for initiating the idea of a New Zealand Chinese Language Week as part of his ethnic affairs portfolio and establishing a group of talented New Zealanders to back and promote the concept.

“Labour’s vision is for a New Zealand in which all young New Zealanders are given and take up the opportunity to become fluent in a second language,” Phil Goff said.

Time to reflect on historic poll tax apology

This year marks the twelfth anniversary of the historic poll tax apology by the Labour Government  which healed many wounds for the Kiwi Chinese community and strengthened New Zealand’s legacy as an inclusive and welcoming multicultural society.

It was during the last Year of the Horse celebrations in 2002 that the then Prime Minister Helen Clark made the official apology to the Chinese community on behalf of all previous New Zealand governments for the racially discriminatory legislation.

Govt must act on calls for national language policy

The Government is under increasing pressure to adopt a comprehensive language policy, says Rajen Prasad, Labour’s spokesperson for Ethnic Affairs and Su’a William Sio, Labour’s spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs.

“In the second report in just a week, the Government is being urged to develop a broader language policy.

Ethnic New Zealanders deserve a fair go

Ethnic New Zealanders continue to face enormous barriers in the job market and in gaining access to basic public services - a situation that must be addressed, says Labour’s Ethnic Affairs spokesperson Rajen Prasad.

His comments follow the Annual Diversity Forum in Auckland which came to a close this week. The forum discussed the findings of a Human Rights Commission report on structural and institutional discrimination.

Judith Collins misusing departmental website

Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins should stop using her own department’s website to promote the National Party and to solicit donations, says Labour’s ethnic MPs Rajen Prasad and Raymond Huo.

“The Office of Ethnic Affairs website directs visitors to link through to Judith Collins’ National Party website which contains a section where people can donate money and sign up to the Party,” said Rajen Prasad.

“That is completely inappropriate. Judith Collins should keep her Party activities separate from her Ministerial responsibilities.”

Unemployment casts dark shadow over Lantern Festival

The annual Lantern Festival should be a time when the Asian community rejoices, yet this year’s celebration looks set to be anything but with the spotlight on the rising numbers of unemployed, says Labour List MP Raymond Huo.

“Usually The Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival offer a chance for the Chinese community to reflect on the past year and rejoice in new beginnings and opportunities.

“This year, however, the harsh reality of New Zealand’s ballooning unemployment rate, will be weighing heavily on many.

Young Professional Candidate Ideal for Botany

The decision to select Chao-Fu Wu as the Labour candidate for Botany is one that will give the people of Botany a great opportunity to elect a young, community-minded, constituent-focused professional to represent them in Parliament, says Labour’s Chinese Community Affairs Spokesperson Raymond Huo.

“Chao-Fu Wu will be an asset to the Botany electorate. He has a strong desire to serve local constituents and as an Auckland-raised young Kiwi-Chinese from Taiwan, he understands the needs and issues facing the Botany electorate.

Huo welcomes new Asia:NZ Foundation Trustees

The appointment of two prominent New Zealanders onto the Asia:NZ Foundation Board of Trustees reinforces the importance that the Asian region has to New Zealand’s future  says Labour Chinese Community Affairs Spokesperson Raymond Huo.


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