Settlement website for new migrants

By Sophie Bond


Auckland's newcomers now have their own settlement information website, developed by the Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust (ARMS) through funding from the Department of Internal Affairs.

New Zealand's first regional specialist settlement website - www.settlement.org.nz was launched today by Auckland Councillor Richard Northey.  To date, there are more than 75 Service Providers profiled on the site and the number is growing daily.

According to a recent survey on newcomers carried out by the Auckland Regional Migrant Services, 68 per cent of respondents prefer to access their information online.  According to ARMS Chief Executive, Dr Mary Dawson, newcomers typically rate the need to find information about job-hunting above all other topics.

Their other key concerns include buying a house, NZ legislation, how to build community connections, accreditation of their overseas qualifications, shopping tips, setting up a business, and accessing training and English language support.  Financial information is high on the list for newcomers including banking services, insurance, superannuation, tax, where to invest money and Kiwisaver.

"Out of our surveys and forums has been highlighted the difficulty for many of Auckland's newcomers in finding useful maps and guides about getting around Auckland and to help them to locate the necessary amenities and services for them as new migrants.  Many people are surprised by the lack of good sign-posting and clear directions about where to go for help and advice" said Dr Dawson.

By clicking onto www.settlement.org, Auckland's newcomers will be able to access information a wide range of relevant  topics.  They will have immediate online access to practical advice, such as how to catch a bus, renting a house, and schooling for children.

The website also will host discussion forums, and online guides for newcomers, as well as forums for service providers to share best practices, events and workshops.

Auckland's new regional website was inspired by the success of www.Settlement.Org, a project of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants in Canada.

 

For more information, please contact Shoma Prasad on 09 625 2440 or email shomap@arms-mrc.org.nz

- THE AUCKLANDER

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