Funding cuts hurt migrants

By Amy McGillivray

Funding cuts facing one Tauranga migrant support group will put a strain on the service, a co-ordinator says.

Tauranga Regional Multicultural Council coordinator Janet Smith is gearing up for a cut in funding when the Ministry of Social Development's Settling In programme comes to an end in June.

She would not reveal how much funding the organisation received from the $1.5 million available to community groups through the scheme each year since 2010 but said it would certainly have an impact.

In Tauranga the money was used to run the Western Bay of Plenty Newcomers Network and parenting programmes. It was also used to help migrants access services and programmes, and to help set up a new interpreting service.

"All the agencies who are dealing with migrant services are realising that their funding, and maybe their remit as they stand, are being challenged at a time when it looks like the trend is towards more migrants."

Predictions were that by 2014 the trend would be for more migrants to be coming in than leaving, she said.

"There would appear to be more demands on migrant services," she said.

She had been actively looking for alternative funding and was reassessing the programmes the group delivered.

Western Bay/Tauranga Settlement Support co-ordinator Carol Andersen said she expected migrant support to change soon but said it would always exist in some form.

Settlement Support, which was funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, was not facing major funding changes this year but expected it would in future.

The organisation had recently begun to put more emphasis on working to support employers of migrants , she said.

Inderjit Chadda is a recent migrant to Tauranga who was helped into the community by the multicultural council.

"I didn't know a soul when I moved to Tauranga, through the council I met new people of different nationalities."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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