The first cohort of graduates from the Ethnic Communities Graduate Programme was welcomed into the Public Service with a mihi whakatau in Parliament held on July 12. Tangata whenua, ministers, Members of Parliament, Public Service leaders and colleagues were there to greet the graduates and their families.

The significance of the occasion was marked with speeches from the Lead Coordination Minister for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques, Hon Andrew Little; the Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan; the Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes and the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Ethnic Communities Mervin Singham.

“Graduates who come through this programme will be set up to influence and drive change that directly affects ethnic communities and the whole of New Zealand society,” Minister Radhakrishnan said.

The Ethnic Communities Graduate Programme is providing a meaningful first employment opportunity in the Public Service for skilled graduates from ethnic communities. It will see 23 graduates start work across 12 government agencies, with an aim to improve the representativeness of Aotearoa New Zealand’s public sector and broadening its cultural competency.

The programme is part of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019, which highlighted the need for more diversity across the Public Service.

You can find more information about the programme on the Ministry for Ethnic Communities website.

For more pictures of the event, please visit our Facebook page(external link).

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