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Newsletters > Diversity Action Programme > Te Punanga: Refugee Focus > 2010 > September

Te Punanga: Refugee Focus

ISSN 1178-0940 September, 2010

News & Issues

Asylum forum held in Auckland

The annual Asylum Forum was held on Wednesday 25 August at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre in Auckland. The forum is an annual event specifically for asylum seekers and Convention refugees, and for those who work with them.

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Speakers from the Department of Labour addressed issues arising from the recent changes to Immigration law which come into effect in November this year, including:

  • The new visa system, including key visa policies affecting Convention refugees
  • The refugee and protection system at first instance
  • Deportation and Detention provisions
  • The Immigration and Protection Tribunal: What's it all about?

Speakers included Conrad Wright - Manager Refugee Status Branch, Philippa Guthrey - Team Manager Operational Policy, Julia White - Business Analyst and Michael Timmins - Senior Legal Associate Refugee Status Appeals Authority.

Wayne Levick, Strategic Programmes Manager, Immigration Act Implementation Project Manager has confirmed the following dates for Immigration Act Information Sessions throughout New Zealand:

Date: 15 November
Venue: Christchurch

Date: 16 November
Venue: Wellington

Date: 19 and 22 November
Venue: Auckland

If you want to know more about the new Immigration Act coming into force in November visit the Department of Labour's website to view their Fact Sheets and FAQ's .

Schools take part in activities for refugees

The August issue of Refugee Services newsletter, “A Place to Call Home” is now available.

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The issue features stories about two schools involved in activities for refugees-- Woodford House and Kristin School:

  • Year 10 students and teachers from Woodford House, an integrated school for boarding and day girls from Years 7 to 13 travelled to Wellington to present gifts for refugees and attend a presentation given by Refugee Services.
  • Students from Kristin an independent and nondenominational school from Kindergarten to Year 13, recently designed and built a beautiful new garden at Mangere Refugee Reception Centre as their 2010 Prefect Project.

You can read the full stories and view photos online:

Woodford House-Students from Woodford House donate gifts for incoming refugees

Kristin School- Mangere Refugee Reception Centre Gets Beautiful New Garden

RYAN in full swing mode in Auckland

Refugees as Survivors New Zealand’s (RASNZ) new venture Refugee Youth Action Network (RYAN) is starting to roll out across Auckland. The initiative involves the Umma Trust, Ethnic Youth Trust, Ministry of Social Development, ASB Community Trust, and refugee advocacy groups.

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RYAN has three strands:

  • 1. Activities- sports, recreation, art expression.
  • 2. Guidance- life skills, drug prevention, parenting support.
  • 3. Career Path- career plan, training and work readiness.

Over 90 young leaders of the future nominated by their communities have already undergone the first phase of training run by the Ara Moana Maori outdoor pursuits trust in Tai Tokerau, Northland.

Leadership New Zealand (LNZ) has offered to support the RYAN project in metropolitan Auckland with mentors. The mentors will be LNZ alumni who are senior managers in business, industry and government. The mentors will be matched with RYAN youth leaders which aims to help young people from former refugee backgrounds fully participate and contribute in an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand Society.

Visit the RASNZ website for more information.

New resource from Te Pou available now online

Te Pou, the National Centre for Mental Health Workforce Development has just released the resource: Therapies for Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers: Best and Promising Practice Guide.

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The guide authored by a multidisciplinary team, is developed to inform best practice in working with people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Topics cover cultural competencies, working with interpreters, and evidence-based reviews of a range of therapies and approaches.

For a copy visit Te Pou's website.

Sowing the seeds of change

The Garden4Health and the RASNZ Community Health Team will provide practical solutions to healthy living through the development of edible gardening skills to sustain families.

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Richard Main of Garden4Health and Dr Arif Saefid of RASNZ believe this is a natural extension into the community of the transformational impact the successful community garden has had on he lives of people at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre.

The planned next phase of the project is to help former refugees set up their own gardens in the community through supplies and support.

For more information contact RASNZ.

Volunteer Wellington in partnership with Wellington Central Citizens Advice Bureau and Settlement Support Wellington recently launched a programme for newcomers to encourage community participation and learning.

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Called the Volunteer Connect Award, everyone who registers for the programme is given a Volunteer Connect Care which is just like the coffee card concept. Involvement with any activity, including volunteering and attending seminars and workshops, earns a newcomer points. A Certificate of Recognition is given when 100 points have been accumulated.

For more information ring Volunteer Wellington (ph: 04 499 4572).

Future Events

Settlement Support Wellington is inviting everyone to attend an introduction to the New Zealand tax system.

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This symposium will consist of a day of stories about various aspects of the refugee experience, presented by former refugees who are now residents in New Zealand.

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