Staff Reporter –
The value that migrant businesses bring to New Zealand should be recognised and promoted, Inland Revenue Minister Todd McClay has said.
Speaking at the National Council meeting of the Multicultural NZ (otherwise known as the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils) held in Rotorua from February 20 to 22, 2015, he emphasised the need for effective integration into mainstream New Zealand.
“Migrant businesses are important partners in economic growth and social development and as such their contributions must be properly acknowledged and appreciated. We must close the existing gap in migrant support services as well,” he said.
Among those who attended the three-day programme was former Rotorua Chamber of Commerce President and business leader Dr Margriet Theron.
Noel Rodgers, Director of Active Business Support Services Limited, a business consultancy firm, facilitated a strategy workshop to identify where the forum can best support migrant business communities.
The Workshop raised a number of dynamics from the types of support components that will be of value to business, and the ability to collaborate with other like-minded business support organisations.
Among the initiatives of the Federation was the formation of its Multicultural Business Advisory Board last year. Trade Minister Tim Groser launched the Board at the GMP Dairy Limited plant in East Tamaki, Auckland on August 5, 2014.
Federation President Alexis LewGor said that the Board played a positive role in catering to the needs of small and medium business enterprises of various ethnic communities.
Executive Director Tayo Agunlejika said that the Board will provide knowledge, information, contacts, training, support and services to help Small and Medium Ethnic Enterprises (SMEEs) engage and grow and to assist ethnic migrant and refugee communities with their business and entrepreneurial aspirations.
Board Chairman Wenceslaus Anthony said that the focus was on a Business Plan and a study to identify the needs of small and medium enterprises.
“We must also develop and implement programmes that promote SMEs, identify business partners and business associates who will support the Board,” he said.
Wenceslaus Anthony with Todd McClay and Dr Margriet Theron at the Rotorua Meeting.