Diverse Communities

Welcome to Foundation North’s dedicated page relating to our Ethnic Diversity Strategy. Stay up to date here with the work we do with refugee- and migrant-background communities in our region.

Warm greetings!

We recognise and value the diversity in our communities, and have a strong commitment to working well with refugee- and migrant-background communities in our region to achieve good outcomes for everyone.

Our Ethnic Diversity Strategy will guide how we work in this area.  The vision for our strategy is for Foundation North to be a culturally responsive organisation that responds to the aspirations of diverse communities, and builds connections within and between the communities of our region.

Read the Ethnic Diversity Strategy here.

Here are some digital stories about ethnically diverse organisations and projects we have supported:

New Zealand Ethnic Women's Trust - helps with the settlement and support of migrants and refugees from a variety of ethnic and national backgrounds to New Zealand

ActivAsian - A Harbour Sport initiative providing sport and recreation activities for the Asian community

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Strategic Goals

Our goals under the strategy include:

  • Foundation North demonstrates strong cultural intelligence and works in ways that are enabling and responsive to diverse communities– we will do this by building on our cultural learning and working in partnership with others to learn together.
  • Foundation North is accessible to diverse communities in our region – this relates to ensuring that refugee- and migrant-background organisations know what they need to access our funding and that they get the right support from us. We will engage with organisations through a range of ways, in group or one-on-one sessions and via a range of media.
  • Diverse communities feel connected, included and that they belong in our region – we will work in partnership to support and fund programmes which improve communities’ sense of cohesion and inclusion.
  • Foundation North achieves greater impact for women and older people who experience disadvantage – to ensure our funding is targeted to those who need it most, we will prioritise women and older people who have the greatest need
  • Foundation North achieves greater impact for refugee-background families and new migrants (fewer than five years in New Zealand) who experience disadvantage – to ensure our funding is targeted to those who need it most, we will prioritise refugee-background families and new migrants who have the greatest need.
  • Foundation North supports the refugee and migrant sectors to respond effectively and collaboratively to the needs and aspirations of refugee- and migrant-background communities – we will support the sector to be stronger and more sustainable through supporting leadership development; capacity and capability development; brokering, convening and connecting stakeholders; and sharing learning and data.

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A research-based strategy

We commissioned some research to help us understand the needs of refugee- and migrant-background communities, to guide our work to improve outcomes for diverse communities.  The Centre for Social Impact and The Oryza Foundation undertook this research, which included data analysis, a literature review and a series of interviews with key stakeholders from the sector.  

Effective philanthropic support for diverse communities
Executive Summary
Full Report

Through the research process that informed the development of this strategy, other language/terminology for describing ethnically diverse, migrant and refugee communities was encountered by the researchers. From these discussions, preferred language was identified to avoid the use of terminology that could be considered to be stigmatising or ‘othering’.

The ‘glossary’ below outlines the preferred language used throughout the report that has informed our strategy.

* Ethnically diverse communities - a term used in our report to describe the breadth of ethnic groups from which communities are comprised at a general population level.

* Refugee background and/or resettled communities - terms used in our report to describe persons or communities who arrived in New Zealand with refugee status or seeking asylum. The use of the terms ‘refugee background’ and ‘resettled communities’ within New Zealand is increasing, with two community sector organisations having explored or agreed name changes in the last 12-months to reflect this language shift. Whilst some refugee background individuals and communities claim ownership of a ‘refugee’ identity, others find the term isolating and stigmatising, and not reflective of their sense of identity as new Kiwis. The terms ‘resettled’ or ‘refugee background’ are also considered to be more encompassing of the different types of refugee status/pathway.

* Person seeking asylum – a term used in our report, and by the community sector, as preferred to the term of ‘asylum seeker’.

* Resettlement - the term used to describe the process of arrival and integration into New Zealand communities and systems for people of refugee background. This is distinct from the broader term of settlement, which is used to describe the process of integration experienced by people of migrant background.

* Migrant background – the term used in our report to describe persons or communities with an experience of migrating to and settling in New Zealand. Like ‘refugee background’, this term is considered to be more encompassing of the different types of migrant experiences, and the issues that may stem from the experiences of migration, but which can be felt many years after migration. Within the context of the report, migrant background is a term that is considered to include:

  • New migrants – those who have lived in New Zealand for five years or less.
  • Established migrants – those who have lived in New Zealand for more than five years.
  • The ‘1.5 generation’ – those who migrated to New Zealand at a young age with their parents; are likely to have retained some cultural understandings of their home country, such as language; but were largely educated in the New Zealand system and therefore have markedly difference experiences to their parents.
  • New Zealand-born of migrant background – those born in New Zealand with parents or grandparents of migrant background; or who otherwise identify with issues that stem from the migration experience.

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