Engaging Asian Communities
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ENGAGING ASIAN COMMUNITIES IN NEW ZEALAND
A report prepared for the Asia New Zealand Foundation by
Terry McGrath, Andrew Butcher,
John Pickering and Hilary Smith
ABOUT THE AUTHORS 2
Limitations of the Research 6
Overview: Immigration and Settlement 7
Demography of the Asian Population 8
in New Zealand Today
SECTION ONE 10
Examples of Engaging Asian Communities 10
International examples 10
Latent talents A UK response 11
The New Zealand experience 12
Successful Engagement and Programmes 16
Programmes must respond to 18
a recognised need
Programmes must target 18
Programmes must consult 18
Programmes must deliver 19
in a culturally sensitive manner
Programmes must 19
Programmes must have 19
SECTION TWO 20
Conceptual Framework 20
Social activities 22
Telephone and internet access 23
Volunteer/Unpaid work outside home 23
SECTION TWO contd.
Accessing services 26
Health services 26
Integration programmes 26
Racism and discrimination 27
First language use 27
Immigration services 28
Treaty of Waitangi 28
Service providers 29
SECTION THREE Recommendations: 30
Policy, Practice, Programmes, People
Language-Related Recommendations 30
General Recommendations 33
Indicator Framework Table for Measuring 36
the Impact of Settlement Policies
on Social Cohesion
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TERRY MCGRATH is National Co-ordinator of
the International Student Ministries Inc and
International Student Chaplain at Massey
University. He has been involved in the pastoral
care of international students for over 20 years.
Qualified in Science, History, Development Studies
and Teaching, he is the co-author of Nga Tangata:
Partnerships in the Pastoral Care of International
Students (Asia Pacific Migration Network, 2002)
and more recently Campus Community Linkages in
Pastoral Care of International Students (2004).
Terry is also the recipient of a Massey Blue Award
for services to international students, Vice-
President of ISANA New Zealand, and secretary
to ANZTCA (Tertiary Chaplains Association).
DR JOHN PICKERING is a Director of ie Limited.
John has been a member of the Code of Practice
Guidelines Advisory Committee and chaired the
levy-funded Tertiary Professional Development
Advisory Committee. He is the immediate past
President of ISANA New Zealand. John spent seven
years managing international student support in a
university. He is a trained scientist with qualitative
and quantitative research experience and about
80 publications and conference presentations.
He spent seven years living in continental
Europe and is a Polish permanent resident.
DR HILARY SMITH has over 20 years of experience
in language education. Overseas she has taught in
Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Lao PDR.
In New Zealand her background is mainly in
the tertiary education sector including Victoria
University and International Pacific College. She
chairs the national council of VSA (Te Tuao Tawahi
Volunteer Service Abroad). Her Masters research
with the Lao refugee community in Wellington
involved policy around language provision for
refugee communities, and her PhD was on language
policy for migrant and international students in
schools and teacher training. She has published
in the areas of language and education policy.
DR ANDREW BUTCHER holds degrees in History,
Criminology and Sociology from both Victoria
and Massey Universities. His PhD was on the
re-entry experiences of East Asian international
tertiary students to their countries of origin.
He has also researched participants experiences of
discrimination, and international students pastoral
care provisions by community groups. He has a
number of publications on international students
and participants experiences. He has also been
invited to present his research at the University of
Oxford and a number of New Zealand international
education and migration conferences.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
IT IS IMPORTANT for us to thank those who
participated in this research by giving up their
time and telling us their stories of engaging with
New Zealand communities. Their stories and
insights are important for all New Zealanders to
listen to; we hope we have done them justice here.
We also thank the following research assistants
for undertaking the interviews and leading focus
groups: Chze Pheng Ching; Poh Yin Ching;
Suranthi de Silva; Jane Ng; Rachel McLeish;
Ade Kurniawan; Yukiko Kojima; Moon-Chong Suh;
Sharma Deshpande; Zhong Xi; Christina Lin Na;
Joanna Chai; Dr Marissa Roland; Bindu Jacob;
Yvette Koo; Esther Wang; Anna Puetener;
Frank Shin; and Adella Choronge.
Tracey Hunt provided valuable administrative
support, while Massey University Chaplaincy in
Palmerston North and The Street City Church
in Wellington provided venues for research
Chze Pheng and Poh Yin Ching provided
organisation and management of the Auckland team
as well as insight and advice to the research team.
Zhong Xi provided translation and helpful advice
in preparing information for focus groups. Janeen
Mills provided project management and general
support to the project management team.
Dr Kevin Dunn, University of New South Wales
and Professor Ram Gidoomal, CBE, of the London
Sustainability Exchange and Middlesex and
Cambridge universities, both provided useful
information about overseas experiences of
engaging migrant communities.
Jenny McGrath, Yvette Koo and Kim Allen provided
editorial comments, while Professor Paul Spoonley
and Associate Professor Noel Watts provided
insightful peer review.
The Asia New Zealand Foundation, particularly
Dr Rebecca Foley, provided both the funding and
ongoing and encouraging support for this research.
4NEW ZEALANDS ASIAN communities are nothing
new. From the goldfields of Central Otago in the
1800s to the international students on Aucklands
Queen Street in the third millennium, they are a
marked element in New Zealands history and a
firm feature on New Zealands social landscape.
This research on successfully engaging Asian
communities in New Zealand, commissioned by the
Asia New Zealand Foundation (Asia:NZ), looks at
ways that engagement happens (or doesnt, as the
case may be) between various Asian communities
and various other communities in New Zealand.
The trials and tribulations of Asians settling into
and being discriminated against in New Zealand
are well documented. This report does not seek
to revisit this well trodden path; rather, it seeks
to take the further steps: moving from unsettled
encounters to successful engagement. Amongst
these further steps are identifying what works in
assisting engagement and the factors that need to
be taken into account when designing programmes.
Additionally, focus is drawn towards the roles of
central and local government and their agencies
in providing strategic guidance, co-ordination and
cohesion amongst the diverse groups seeking to
provide programmes and to assist engagement.
Following this general introduction, which covers
methodology, limitations of the research and a
broad overview of the policies affecting Asian
migration to New Zealand, the report is divided
into three sections. Section One examines
New Zealand and international models of engaging
Asian communities. Aimed specifically at those
agencies with a role in relation to New Zealands
Asian communities, the information from this
section is intended to inform practice.
Section Two focuses on the issue of engagement
from a social cohesion framework, using the
words of the actual participants in the research.
Contributing to the broader discussion surrounding
the engagement of different communities,
this section examines the specific elements of
belonging, participation, inclusion, recognition
Finally, Section Three provides a series of
recommendations to contribute towards greater
engagement. These recommendations flow from
the findings of Sections One and Two.
The trials and tribulations of Asians settling into and being discriminated against in New Zealand are well documen