A recently published book, Homelands Then and Now, celebrates migrant contributions to New Plymouth. The book looks at migrants from a range of countries including Jordan, Zimbabwe and India.
The author, Ingrid van Amsterdam, is a migrant who arrived from the Netherlands in 1988. She became involved with Migrant Connections Taranaki Charitable Trust in 2017, when she presented to members about the process of buying property in New Zealand. The Trust supports migrants by providing orientation programmes, information seminars and facilitating access to services relevant to migrants, such as employment, banking and accommodation.
Ingrid later became a trustee of the Trust and wrote her book on behalf of the organisation. She commented that “the six migrants in the book come from a range of backgrounds, and migrated for reasons including work appointments, a love of New Zealand and learning the English language.”
The Office of Ethnic Communities believes that diverse cultures and ethnicities provide a great benefit to New Zealand and supports the telling of these stories to bring further understanding within wider society. This belief is explored throughout the book.
The book is currently available at the Puke Ariki public library in New Plymouth and will be distributed to NZ secondary schools and public libraries nationwide in 2019. It is available for free download here(external link).