Local government in action
partnership between Auckland City, Manukau City and others to create
the ‘one-stop-shop’ Auckland
Regional Migrant Resource Service is a case study in the variety of
roles and actions territorial local authorities can take to address local
The factors that stimulated this initiative were:
- the willingness of local government to play a facilitation
and leadership role
- a community groundswell of opinion (forums, networks
communities of interest, service providers)
- significant changes in the demographic make-up of the Auckland Region
research findings on community needs
- central government’s increased commitment to planned settlement
This project demonstrates how a partnership can make a difference.
It also shows the roles and steps that can be taken to develop new operations
and services for people with a diverse range of needs and interests.
By the late 1990s it was clear that immigration had changed the face
of Auckland. National and local leaders asked what this meant, and what
their response might be.
The catalysts for the Auckland Regional Migrant Resource Service partnership
- the impact of 1990s immigration policy was becoming evident
on the ground in grass roots communities and community organisations,
- service providers and advocates
- a significant groundswell of opinion had arisen about the unmet needs
of new ethnic communities
- city councils were beginning to hear about the needs and issues
- New Zealand’s Minister for Immigration had pilot funding for
settlement initiatives aimed at improving settlement outcomes for
particularly to foster employment
- Auckland region was seen as a geographic area attracting a large
percentage of new migrants for lifestyle reasons, education opportunities,
and business development
- city councils in the Auckland region actively explored migrant needs
through community and business forums, networking, research, and
Manukau and Auckland cities took up the offer of working in partnership
with the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) to run a pilot project
around establishing settlement services for the region. A steering team
was formed to guide the process, made up of representatives from:
- Manukau and Auckland city councils
- central government’s NZIS and Office of Ethnic Affairs
- Auckland Regional Ethnic Council
- a range of community service providers.
Consultants were contracted to reconfirm the needs across the region
and to recommend a service delivery model.
A one-stop-shop approach was confirmed as the appropriate mechanism
for delivery with a regional service centre in the centre of Auckland
region, at Three Kings, and satellite service centres in other cities
across the region, Manukau City being the first.
Establishment was planned and further funding sought.
The partnership was extended, to include Housing New Zealand Corporation,
which assisted in leasing a building and funding the retrofit. The governance
structure was planned as a charitable trust.
The Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust community organisation
was established to run services, including:
- a multilingual information centre run by the Citizens Advice
- employment brokerage (sponsored by Work and Income)
- pathways to English as a Second Language (sponsored by the Ministry
- service coordination
- case management
- capacity building
- best practice and standards.
As they looked back after building their partnership, officers felt
they had learnt useful lessons. These included:
- settlement services should be holistic and seamless, meeting
social, cultural and economic needs
- settlement services are needed irrespective of migrants’ immigration
category, e.g. general skills, business, family reunification, or
refugee or Pacific quotas
- there is a settlement aspect in practically every government agency.
More central govern-ment agencies, such as the Ministry of Social
Development, Early Childhood Development, the Ministry of Education,
Safety Authority (for traffic accidents) and the Accident Compensation
Corporation (for watersafety) were identified as needing to develop
strategies and partner projects such as regional migrant resource
- the importance of all agencies, central and local, working in a co-ordinated
way to build a national strategy through all phases of the settlement
- territorial local authorities can take a facilitative and leadership
the partnership approach presents opportunities for cities to work
together collaboratively and with the community
- partnership between local and central government allows national funding
to be united with local approaches
- territorial local authorities can plan and set up self governing structures – leaving
others to implement
- leadership roles played by key politicians and officials across
the sector are catalysts for generating trust, attracting funding
fostering cross sector relationships
- pilots may not fulfil all expectations and can cut through existing
community processes, but are very useful resources when developing
- central and local government budgeting and planning processes
can sometimes cause issues for community organisations in their
to plan forward
- pilot planning can establish the extent of the need, so funding
for pilots is very important
- as Treaty partners, Tangata Whenua expect leading roles in
welcoming and helping people to settle and to understand
the Treaty of
People initially involved want to expand the circle of participants – and
to build trust further between officials and ethnic communities.
The final word goes to the Minister for Immigration Lianne Dalziel who
said, when opening the Auckland Regional Migrant Services centre: "This
centre represents the very best of collaboration between central government,
local government and the community sector and will ensure the best advice
and support is given to migrants.
By Anthony Haas after interviews with officials from Auckland and Manukau cities
and other migrant specialists.
Find out more!
Manukau City, Raewyn Stone, Planner – Diverse Communities
Tel 09 262 8900 Ext. 8787
Auckland City, Teena Abbey, Community Planner, Tel 09 379 2020
Auckland Regional Migrant Resource Services, Penny Jorgenson,Tel 09
Phil Goff, local MP (Mt Roskill) and Minister of Foreign Affairs watches
as Sir Barry Curtis (back to camera) mayor of Manukau, Lianne Dalziel,
Minister of Immigration, and John Banks, mayor of Auckland, cut the ribbon
declaring the Auckland Regional Migrant Resource Service open for business.
on meeting diverse needs – Manukau City’s Mayor, Sir Barry
Curtis, at the opening of the Tupu Youth Library in Otara.