Foreword from Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Image of the Minister Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga at a podium speaking at the Eid celebration in Parliament in front of an audience

New Zealand has a proud history as a nation that is welcoming of diversity. Māori, our first peoples began this tradition in a formal sense in 1840 by entering into a partnership through Te Tiriti o Waitangi with representatives of the Crown. Since then we have welcomed people from all corners of the world.

As our nation grows and develops, and the diversity of our peoples increases, we need to hold fast to this welcoming foundation. With globalisation, there has been an increase in demographic changes. New Zealand is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. We have more than 200 different ethnicities within our communities and a quarter of all people who call New Zealand home were born overseas.

In a globally connected world, our diversity is a real strength and one that we must maximise for the benefit and prosperity of all New Zealanders. The Office of Ethnic Communities has an important role to play, on behalf of Government, in realising the benefits of diversity for New Zealand.

This government acknowledges the strengths, cultural richness, and international linkages of our communities. Our international connections help to support innovation, the active exchange of ideas and economic growth. Growing a more productive and competitive economy is a government priority and the work of the Office contributes to this priority as well as our overall drive to deliver better and more responsive public services.

As Minister for Ethnic Communities, I am proud of the richness and value inherent in New Zealand’s diverse communities.

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
Minister for Ethnic Communities

Go in Introduction from Maarten Quivooy, General Manager

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