Immigration New Zealand is one of the three finalists for the Excellence in Ethnic Diversity Award at the 2012 gen-i Public Sector Excellence Awards.
New Zealand Police and Unitec Institute of Technology are the other two finalists for the Ethnic Diversity award which is sponsored by the Office of Ethnic Affairs, and organised by the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ).
Immigration New Zealand is shortlisted for its “Enhancing Productivity in Diverse Kiwi Workplaces” project. The immigration department put in place “toolkits” for New Zealand workplaces to understand their new migrant workers.
A quarter of the workers in the New Zealand workforce are born overseas and this rises to nearly half the workforce in Auckland. The Employer Toolkit is a set of ten ready-reference cards designed to support employers of migrants, and help them consider the challenges that come with employing people from different backgrounds.
The companion brochure “Guide for Newcomers – Make Your Move to New Zealand a Success” provides new migrants with tips to settle quickly into the New Zealand workplace.
Similarly, New Zealand Police’s Māori Pacific Ethnic Services Cultural Response Team supported communities from diverse backgrounds following the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February 2011. The Cultural Response Team was established in response to the large number of ethnically diverse people directly affected by the quake, as well as the high number of relatives and overseas media who travelled to New Zealand after the disaster.
Police recognised the need to sensitively manage the identification process, provide answers to family members and manage the cultural requirements of many ethnicities. The team dealt in a culturally appropriate manner with 20 different nationalities and more than 400 families.
Unitec Institute of Technology’s Intercultural Learning and Dialogue Programme was awarded for improving intercultural effectiveness for its 1,100 staff and 10,000 students.
IPANZ President Len Cook says the standard of entries continues to impress each year.
“At a time when Government is asking the public sector to provide more for less, these awards recognise a sector committed to achieving excellence, to embracing innovative ideas, and demonstrating real leadership.”
Winners of each category and the Prime Minister’s Award for Public Sector Excellence will be announced at an awards dinner to be held at Wellington’s TSB Arena on 11 June.