Auckland's Ethnic Media's Contribution to Settlement and Integration

Wednesday 9 May 2012, 7:04PM
By Auckland Regional Migrant Services


Service providers helping migrants settle in the Auckland area are collaborating with ethnic media to look at the best ways of getting information to newcomers and their communities.

Nearly 80 representatives from various service provider organisations heard from keynote speakers from ethnic media journalists at a Regional Settlement Network meeting organised by Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS).

The speakers included Lynda Chanwai-Earle, Spoken Features Producer, Asian Affairs, Radio New Zealand National; Terri Byrne, Planet FM – Station Manager; and Robert Khan, Tarana FM Manager Director.

According to Robert Khan, the point of difference between mainstream and ethnic media is the direct connections that ethnic media create with their audiences.   “With Radio Tarana, we connect with our listeners, we listen to them, share their views, cover their side of the story, as opposed to mainstream, where usually the generic news angle is taken”, he says.

Lincoln Tan, NZ Herald columnist, also facilitated a discussion with panellists, representing various ethnic media.   Panellists Maggie Chen, CEO, Chinese Herald; Ane Ponifasio, Managing Editor, Samoa Times & Radio Samoa; Brendon Fraser, Educator, EMINZ Media Agency; and Sang Yong Lee, Director, The Korea Town magazine, shared their views and experiences on how community integration can be assisted through delivery of multilingual information.

ARMS Chief Executive, Mary Dawson, says the last decade has seen a big rise in Auckland’s ethnic media.  “They play an important role in getting information out to new migrants from over 160 ethnic backgrounds about all kinds of local matters, commercial and non-commercial,” Dr Dawson says.

“Most of us not from those linguistic backgrounds have little idea about the proliferation and scope of Auckland’s ethnic media and the meeting was extremely useful in giving us some ideas on how to get our messages across to people.”

ARMS is funded by Immigration New Zealand to provide the Regional Settlement Network meeting twice-yearly.  The Network brings together organisations and government agencies to share good practice, information and trends and to encourage collaboration that assists newcomers to New Zealand, to settle more easily and quickly.