Pathways for New Zealand and Pasifika People Up For Discussion

11 July 2014

A forum to discuss opportunities and challenges faced by the 640,770 New Zealand citizens living in Australia was hosted today by Jim Chalmers and Richard Marles in Logan.

Representatives of local New Zealand and Pacific Island community groups attended the forum at Griffith University to discuss ways to work together to encourage better pathways for local Pasifika people.

Rankin has the second-biggest New Zealand and Pacific Island community in Australia, and nine of the top ten are in South East Queensland, including Oxley which was represented at the forum by Bernie Ripoll MP.

The forum discussed a range of important issues such as citizenship pathways, education and training opportunities, payments and support, and local experiences.

"Today's forum has given the local New Zealand and Pacific Island community a voice and a rare opportunity to engage with the political process," Richard Marles, the Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, said.

Jim Chalmers, the Member for Rankin, thanked the local community for their participation and their views.

“Many local residents have come to me concerned that their voice is not heard by the Federal Government, because they do not have the right to vote."

“I’m proud to represent the fantastic New Zealand and Pacific Island community in our local area and I appreciate the opportunity to work together with them to try and improve local lives”.

“There are some very difficult issues at play here and not all of them can be fixed with a click of the fingers, but listening and learning from each other is a very good place to start”.

The forum also discussed relevant State Government issues with the Member for Woodridge, Desley Scott, in attendance, along with the Labor candidate for Logan, Linus Power, and the Labor Candidate for Woodridge, Cameron Dick.