General Manager's Update - March 2017

In my last update I welcomed two of the three new managers in the Office of Ethnic Communities – Natasha Narayan, the Manager of our Planning, Systems and Services team, and Tayyaba Khan, the Manager for our Community Engagement team.  Tayyaba is based in Auckland.  I’m pleased to say that Natasha and Tayyaba will now be joined by Diana Solomon as the Manager for the Policy and Research team – which completes the leadership team for the Office for Ethnic Communities.  Diana comes to OEC from her role as Principal Advisor Strategy and Planning in the Strategy and Governance Group of the Department of Internal Affairs, although she has had extensive experience in policy work previously including in the Treasury.

However change never rests - and there will be further change for the Office of Ethnic Communities in the near future.  I have been acting as the General Manager for the Office of Ethnic Communities while the previous Director, Berlinda Chin, was seconded to work as the Private Secretary for the Minister for Ethnic Communities, Peseta Sam Lotu Iiga.  When the Hon. Judith Collins became the Minister Berlinda became the Private Secretary to Minister Collins.  However, Berlinda has now left the role to take up a new role as Strategic Specialist, Ethnic Communities, in the State Services Commission.  This is a new and important role which will tackle the significant challenges of ensuring the ethnic diversity of the public service in New Zealand.  The State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, has a very strong interest to make sure that the public service reflects the diversity of its customers and NZ’s communities.  Berlinda will be helping the Commissioner work on the system of the public service to achieve this goal.

The role of Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities closed on Sunday 27 March 2017.  The Director will lead a small but great leadership team and an important Office to promote and enhance effective integration and social cohesion in New Zealand.  It is vital to the future of our communities and our country that ethnic diversity flourishes and that we realise the real benefits of our diversity.  It has been a fantastic opportunity for me to lead and represent the Office over the last year or so, and I look forward with anticipation to seeing who will lead the office forward into the future.  Thank you for the support that you have given me as the General Manager.  The Office of Ethnic Communities will continue to support the great work that you do every day to support your communities and build a better, stronger and more cohesive New Zealand.

Maarten Quivooy
General Manager