To understand what ethnic communities want us to focus on, the Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities ran a series of targeted workshops in April and May 2021.
Based on the results of the workshops, Cabinet agreed the Ministry’s priorities are to:
- Promote the value of diversity and improve the inclusion of ethnic communities in wider society
- Ensure government services are provided fairly and are easily accessible for ethnic communities
- Improve economic outcomes for ethnic communities and look at the barriers to employment
- Connect and uplift ethnic community groups
To learn more about the workshops, and the goals and priorities of the Ministry for Ethnic Communities, check out the following links:
Our strategy builds on what our ethnic communities told us we should focus on in our first few years. Our ethnic communities and stakeholders told us they wanted to belong, to contribute, and be seen as strong contributors to Aotearoa New Zealand's growth and future.
Click the link below to read our full strategy.
- Outlines the plans and actions we will work on until 2025
- Sets out how we will work with government agencies, the private sector, and others
- Aims to turn our priorities into real pieces of work that will benefit our ethnic communities
- Describes how we want to celebrate and promote the value of ethnic diversity
As part of our strategy, we are also working on the Kia Toipoto Action Plan. Kia Toipoto is a Public Service Commission plan to reduce gender, Māori, Pacific and ethnic pay gaps in the public service.
Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi
An important part of our role is to honour the Crown’s responsibility to act in a way that is in line with Te Tiriti o Waitangi Aotearoa. We have included work in our strategy that aims to strengthen relationships with tangata whenua and increase understanding of te ao Māori.
Watch the videos below to hear more about the strategy from our communities, our Minister, Hon Priyanca Radhankrishnan, and our Chief Executive Mervin Singham.
Our Executive Leadership Team
Mervin Singham, Chief Executive
Before becoming the new ministry’s first Chief Executive, he was the Executive Director at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions.
From 2012 to 2018 he held several executive leadership roles at the Department of Internal Affairs, including Deputy Chief Executive - Stewardship and Organisational Sustainability and Deputy Chief Executive - Strategy and Governance. Between 2000 and 2004 he was Chief Mediator at the Human Rights Commission and between 1997 and 2000 was the Complaints Manager at the Office of Race Relations Conciliator.
Mervin holds a Master of Laws (1st class honours) from Auckland University and a Bachelor of Laws (honours) from the University of Canterbury.
Arthur Chin, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategic Engagement and Partnerships
Before that, Arthur worked in the financial and higher education sectors where his roles focused on partnerships, internationalisation, and community engagement.
Arthur completed a doctorate in 2017 with funding from the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia, holds a Master of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington, and serves the community as a Justice of the Peace.
Fleur Murray, Deputy Chief Executive, Systems, Capability & Programmes
She has held senior executive positions in a range of organisations, including Meridian Energy, PG Wrightson’s, Inland Revenue, ANZ Bank, New Zealand Racing Board and TAB, Parliamentary Service, and most recently, Group Manager Shared Services at the Royal Commission of Abuse In Care.
Fleur and her team are responsible for all the Ministry’s corporate work, including communications, human resources, health, safety and wellbeing, governance, reporting, property, finance and procurement, and privacy and security.
Pratima Namasivayam, Deputy Chief Executive, Policy and Analytics
For the last three years, she has acted as an independent consultant for the Crown Law Office, the Ministry of Education, and Waka Kotahi - New Zealand Transport Agency. Her management career has included strategic and operational policy, legislative change and implementation, organisational change programmes, and negotiations on behalf of the Crown.
Pratima has post-graduate qualifications in health sciences and law, and is an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
Berlinda Chin, Chief Advisor
Her career in New Zealand has been across many roles connected to diversity and multi-culturalism. These included Strategic Specialist on Ethnic Communities at the State Services Commission, Private Secretary to two different Ministers with Ethnic Community portfolios, and Intercultural Advisory Manager at the Office of Ethnic Affairs.
Before joining the Ministry, she was Head of Community Engagement for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care.
Berlinda works across a wide range of Ministry portfolios and is the key contact with the Minister’s office.