A focus on the smaller communities

Image of African woman in front of a table of food.

The Office of Ethnic Communities has had a long-standing relationship with many ethnic communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. With over 200 distinct ethnicities and a population of half a million ethnic people (and growing) we are always seeking to engage with as many different communities as possible. In 2017 we initiated a pilot project to expand our engagement with ‘smaller’ ethnic communities (representing populations of under 10,000) to explore ways to build sustained and on-going engagement.

The aim of this pilot is to work towards developing a comprehensive image of these communities that is an accurate reflection of how the communities see themselves. The project seeks to acknowledge, include and embrace opportunities with our smaller ethnic communities. Aotearoa is rapidly changing as a nation and while certain ethnic populations are larger and continue to grow, there are many smaller communities who also actively contribute to the fabric of this country – and for this reason we are interested in building stronger and better relationships with those communities. Our eight advisors from the Community Engagement team have a wide outreach including Whangarei and Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and across various regions in the South Island as well as the main centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Our engagement is structured to build relationships, share knowledge and grow communities’ relationships with government and wider society.