Adjusting to a new town, let alone a new country can often be a stressfulÂ experience for the casual traveler.
But migrants coming to New Zealand face the added stress of having to settleÂ in quickly and re-start their life in a new land. This can be a confusingÂ and long drawn out interlude, often taking as many as two to three years.
Not having a familiar road map of where everything is, the newcomer can findÂ accessing housing, employment, banking, schools, hospitals, shopping andÂ even leisure activities a complicated process.
Over the last nine years, in Auckland and other major cities in New Zealand,Â a dedicated team of migrants has been helping newcomers make this transitionÂ a little less painful.
Organised by migrants for migrants, the Migrant Expo is a unique free eventÂ in New Zealand not replicated on this scale anywhere else in the world. ItÂ is held annually in Auckland and Hamilton and once every two years inÂ Wellington and Christchurch.
This year the Auckland Migrant Expo – New2Auckland – will be held at the ASBÂ Showgrounds on Saturday, 9th July, from 10am-4pm. Its key aim is to helpÂ migrants get information and assistance to integrate into Auckland and intoÂ employment more quickly, with less frustration and fewer false starts.
“It was really a great show and a help to all of us new immigrants,” says DrÂ Chitra Sood, a visitor to a previous show. “We felt more informed andÂ educated on almost every aspect.”
This year’s Migrant Expo is organised with the help of the Auckland RegionalÂ Migrant Services (ARMS), which has been a major Expo exhibitor from itsÂ beginning. The Expo has also been renamed ‘New2Auckland’ brings servicesÂ together under one roof, a centralized “One Stop Shop” to meet the needs ofÂ all types of migrants, refugees, international students and those movingÂ into Auckland from elsewhere in New Zealand.
In his Expo message, Auckland Mayor, Len Brown said: “I am heartened to seeÂ that this year the Migrant Expo is recognizing the challenging issues facingÂ people relocating from Christ church. We cannot imagine what the people ofÂ Christchurch have been through, but we are all in this together and we canÂ offer a warm welcome to our place.”
Executive Director of ARMS, Mary Dawson, is a strong supporter of theÂ Migrant Expo. “The Expo is a great opportunity for services to showcaseÂ what they can offer in the way of practical support and information for newÂ migrants, established migrants, those thinking of settling here, andÂ international students.”
The one day event will bring together a host of services providers – fromÂ government departments like Work and Income, Ministry of Agriculture andÂ Fisheries, Electoral Commission, and the NZ Police to Watersafe Auckland,Â Chamber of Commerce, BNZ Bank, and Mercury Energy.Â Services on show will include: immigration, legal advisors, educationÂ providers, English language services, job search assistance, banks,Â insurance, money transfer, franchises, health, safety, travel, freightÂ forwarding, real estate, civil defence and emergency management, digitalÂ services, Settlement Support NZ, and a host of not-for-profit organizations.
New Zealand continues to need migrants to meet its skill shortage gaps,Â particularly in Auckland as the engine driver of the country’s economy.