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National public education strategy for CALD communities by 2019: Civil Defence

National public education strategy for CALD communities by 2019: Civil Defence

(picture caption: Participants at the inaugural Ethnic Media Summit held in Auckland's Superdiversity Centre on July 31)

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) has enlisted the support and advice of Auckland Emergency Management as it develops a new national public education strategy for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, which is due to be released early next year.

The ministry is also providing funding support to a joint project by the Christchurch City Council and Plains FM 96.9 – a community access radio station based there - to develop foreign language emergency messaging for radio.

It has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Deaf Aotearoa as part of its ongoing drive to improve the accessibility of emergency information.

All this came out at a recent summit held in Auckland at the Superdiversity Centre chaired by prominent lawyer Mai Chen, during which ethnic media outlets, MCDEM, and Auckland Emergency Management (AEM) met, developed understanding and identified opportunities to keep diverse communities safe.

Several media outlets attended the summit - including this newspaper - Chinese New Zealand Herald, Skykiwi, Mandarin Pages, NZ Messenger, Waikato Weekly Chinese newspaper, Korea Post, Radio Tarana, Indian Newslink, Tagata Pasifika, and WTV, among others.

"Our research shows that migrants and non-English speakers have lower rates of preparedness than most New Zealanders. This means that when an emergency happens, they are more likely to be adversely affected. We believe that everybody has the right to be safe and informed in emergencies,” noted MCDEM’s Director Sarah Stuart-Black addressing the gathering at the summit.   

"As around half of New Zealand's CALD communities live in Auckland, which is one of the world's most ethnically diverse cities, Auckland Emergency Management already work extensively with these communities and ethnic media outlets. We want to ensure that we learn from and support this good work, and are able to share it across New Zealand,” she said. 

Sarah Sinclair, Director of AEM, while calling Auckland's diversity “a strength” concluded, “ It can be further harnessed through collaborating with MCDEM and our ethnic media on making sure we recognise and value our diverse communities.”


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