Christchurch Guandong Association - Settling In

Education seminars for Cantonese speaking migrantsImage of Bio Security Officers presentation- 2015

The Christchurch Guandong Association delivered a series of educational seminars for Cantonese speaking migrants with support of Settling In funding. These seminars have proven to be popular with between 60 and 90 people attending each session.

A range of local experts and guest speakers covered everything from Kiwisaver, bank services and insurance, through to contracts, family trusts, personal wills, property buying, selling and renting, new house design and building.

Police officer Liying Cai talked about how to call 111 in an emergency and Bio Security Officers talked about what’s allowed and not allowed to be brought into New Zealand.

Patrick Guo, Secretary of Christchurch Guangdong Association says, “A great and popular outcome [of the seminars] was that attendees were able to share their experiences together and help each other”. All the topics covered in these seminars were practical and have assisted the day to day settlement of the local Chinese community. Patrick also says that “speakers often received enquiries from attendees”, which demonstrates the benefit of providing a credible platform to share information that meets ongoing Settlement needs. 

Photos supplied by Christchurch Guandong Association- 2015“The seminars were very helpful, I learned a lot from them” said one member of the audience. Other comments by attendees such as, “I know how to dial 111 in an emergency now” and “I know some stuff is not allowed to be brought in to New Zealand now”, show how useful participants found these learning opportunities. 

The Christchurch Guangdong Association was founded in 2007. Since this time they have been active in supporting Cantonese (Guangdong) culture and traditions and promoting a multi-cultural environment in New Zealand.

As most of those attending these seminars were from non-English speaking backgrounds. Settling In was able to support the Christchurch Guangdong Association to remove barriers for obtaining practical information that many people in New Zealand take for granted. One of the participants sums it up saying “I hope Christchurch Guangdong Association can organise more seminars in the future.”

Settling in funding is one of the Office of Ethnic Communities capacity growth work programmes supporting successful resettlement outcomes for migrants and refugees.