Over 150 Ethnic Community Leaders and Government Ministers collaborated at the Inaugural Safer Ethnic Communities Ministerial Forum held in Auckland on Saturday, May 26, 2018.
The Forum was opened by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and connected ethnic communities to several Ministers and their agencies to work on long-term plans to improve safety in our communities.
The Programme covered (a) The role of social inclusion in creating safer communities (b) Family violence and harm and (c) Small business crime prevention.
“There was robust and candid discussion about Family Violence in our communities and also the impact of racism and targeted violence on families and small businesses.,” Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa said.
The country’s top Police Officers – Commissioner Mike Bush, Assistant Commissioner Wallace Haumaha and dozens of other officers also participated in the Forum.
Mr Haumaha spoke about ‘Te Pai Oranga,’ a Restorative Justice Programme bringing together the Police, Justice agencies, community workers, and Maori Leaders to reduce offending and address the causes of crime.
The main panel comprised Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon, New Zealand Indian Central Association President Bhikhu Bhana, Otara/Papatoetoe Local Board Member and former Labour MP Dr Ashraf Chaudhary and Hamilton based Chartered Accountant and community leader Anjum Rahman.
Salvation Army National Director and former Families Commissioner and former Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortuin was the Master of Ceremonies at the main event.
Justice Minister Andrew Little, Police Minister Stuart Nash, Associate Justice Minister Aupito and William Sio addressed the Forum.
Parliamentary Under Secretaries Michael Wood, and Jan Logie and MPs Raymond Huo and Priyanca Radhakrishnan hosted the group sessions and panels.
“The strong Government representation at the Forum shows our commitment to finding cross ministerial solutions for safer communities. We want Ethnic Communities to feel a strong sense of belonging in New Zealand,” Mr Wood said.
“In order to have a long term solution to safer and more inclusive communities we need to end the cycle of poverty and have better access to health and education for everyone,” Ms Salesa said.
Influencing government policy
Solutions from the Safer Ethnic Communities Ministerial Forum will be used to influence and inform government policy and service design.
As well as social inclusion, it is important to make our homes, offices and public places safer.
Our Staff Reporter adds:
The Forum also listened to two panels discussions on ‘Small Business Crime Prevention’ and ‘Partnership between the New Zealand Police and Communities.’
Jenny Salesa is also Building and Construction Minister and Associate Minister of Education, Health, Housing and Urban Development. She hosted the Forum along with the Office of Ethnic Communities, the New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Justice at the AUT South Campus. She also gave her opening and concluding remarks.
The photograph (by our Staff Reporter) here shows (from left) Dr Ashraf Choudhary, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Gregory Fortuin, Jenny Salesa, Michael Wood and Justice Ministry Undersecretary Jan Logie.