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What does the Office of Ethnic Affairs do?


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The Office of Ethnic Affairs works to unlock the potential that ethnic diversity offers New Zealand. Read more about our work.

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What does the Office of Ethnic Affairs do?

  1. 1. The Office of Ethnic Affairs works to promote the benefits of ethnic diversity to developprosperity for every New Zealander.New Zealand is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the OECD. Nearly aquarter of New Zealanders were born overseas.This diversity helps New Zealand move forward economically, socially and culturally.We work to improve business and trade opportunities by:• Linking ethnic communities with government to help inform New Zealand’s Free trade Agreement negotiations.• Establishing a new online database to connect ethnic and mainstream businesses, here and overseas.• Holding training sessions and forums about doing business in New Zealand.• Training workplaces in how to unlock the potential of ethnically diverse staff.We work to improve government’s responsiveness to ethnic communities by:• Providing policy advice to government agencies to ensure equal access for ethnic people• Expanding Language Line, a telephone-based interpreting service to a greater number of government agencies.We work to maintain and improve New Zealand’s reputation for social harmony by:• Building understanding and relationships between ethnic and mainstream communities.• Promoting a more self-sufficient ethnic sector through the promotion of social enterprise as a model for sustainability.• Promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue.• Holding functions to celebrate ethnic diversity such as Chinese New Year, EID and Diwali.