The Waitakere Ethnic Board (WEB) is an Incorporated Society established on 20th September 2003, following calls from Waitakere’s migrant and refugee communities for the creation of a multi-ethnic advisory body that would function similar to the Pacific Advisory Board. WEB was launched by the then Minister of Ethnic Affairs, Hon Chris Carter and attended by several community leaders.
The Council signed a Partnership Agreement with WEB in December 2004. The agreement acknowledged the role of WEB in providing a ‘voice for ethnic people’ in Waitakere (now West Auckland).
Why do we need the WEB?
- To provide a “voice” for ethnic communities to influence what the Council and the Government do
- To identify the needs of the ethnic communities in West Auckland
- To enable groups to share common interests and ideas while maintaining their own identity
- To ensure that ethnic communities meet their own needs by capacity building through WEB driven initiatives
What does the WEB do?
- Represents the views of migrants and refugees to Local, Central Government and Organizations that look after their affairs including settlement, education, employment, health & safety, economic, social and cultural issues
- Advocate on behalf of ethnic communities about issues that concern them and their well-being
- Ensure that at a policy level and through advocacy that services are responsive to the needs of migrants and refugees
What values does the WEB seek to uphold?
- Representation: as many ethnic groups as possible in West Auckland sitting around the table
- Inclusive: of all ethnic groups and individuals working together
- Relationships: an independent organization that develops relationships with Auckland Council, Central Government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on behalf of ethnic communities
- Structure: incorporated society where all members elect the Executive Committee
- Mandate: elected representatives that are mandated by ethnic organisations or communities
- Decision-making: has a constitution to ensure accountability, transparency and integrity
Why should you or your organisation join the WEB?
- Your group can access Central Government and Council through the WEB so that your voice will be heard
- Working with other groups as part of the WEB gives added strength when lobbying regarding issues for your community’s settlement into New Zealand
- Capacity building of leadership and ethnic community development through training and workshops on governance and leadership
- The WEB will provide opportunities to the ethnic community for collaboration with service providers
- The WEB’s goal is to have integrated not segregated communities
- The WEB is about ethnic communities working together not against each other
The History of Waitakere Ethnic Board
After an opening by Rev Judy Cooper and speeches from our sponsor (ICA) and Ann Pala (President), there were presentations from Waitakere City Council and Settlement Support staff about their roles in relation to supporting the settlement of refugees and migrants in Waitakere. Presenters included Julie Newell and Jennie Derrick, followed by Brendon Hickey and Shivangi Pradhan of the Multicultural Library Services. Monica Sharma and Mark Allen also presented. This was followed by an overview by Ruth DeSouza who then facilitated a workshop to develop a strategy on ethnic responsiveness