On 1 July the new Ministry for Ethnic Communities will come into being. It is an upgrade of the current Office of Ethnic Communities. This will be the first time that ethnic communities have had this level of representation in Government.
The new Ministry will be headed by a chief executive who will be directly accountable to the Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities.
The Ministry will have the leadership, mana and visibility to influence decision-making across government to ensure better outcomes for ethnic communities. It will engage with communities and continue to provide other services that ethnic communities have said they value, such as the Ethnic Communities Development Fund, Multilingual Information Network and Nominations Service.
The Office of Ethnic Communities is the government’s principal advisor on ethnic diversity in New Zealand. We provide information, advice and services to, and for, ethnic communities in New Zealand and administer funds to support community development and social cohesion.
We were established in 2000 as the Office of Ethnic Affairs. In 2015, we became the Office of Ethnic Communities to align with the updated name for the Ministerial portfolio we support and reflect our community focus.
The Office of Ethnic Communities is part of the Department of Internal Affairs(external link) and our work contributes to the Department's overarching outcome: Connected citizens, communities and government(external link). We also contribute to broader public sector efforts to deliver on government goals, especially relating to Safer Communities initiatives and work to empower ethnic communities to succeed and contribute.
New Zealand’s ethnic communities come from diverse geographies and cultures, with a broad range of life experiences. Our mandated communities include anyone in New Zealand who identifies their ethnicity as Middle Eastern, Latin American, African, Asian, and Continental European.
The Office of Ethnic Communities team is led by our Executive Director, Anusha Guler. We have staff located across the country. The Office of Ethnic Communities is made up of three teams: Community Engagement, Policy, and Planning, Systems and Services.
Our Strategic Framework 2020 sets out the outcomes we want to achieve this year, the approach we will take to reach these, and the impacts this work will make for Aotearoa New Zealand and its diverse ethnic communities.