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Inclusive grants praised in Papakura

Immigrant groups made welcome

Published: 8 December 2020

Papakura Local Board’s offices took on an international feel when community groups reported on their activities and what grants had been used for.

First to present was Teleiai Edwin Puni, from Mafutaga Samoa Papakura, who told the board how appreciative the group was for its grant for T-shirts for use in exercise programmes and group activities.

Based at the Salvation Army Church, he said the board’s support was highly-valued. “The fact we were able to come here and be accepted for funding as part of this community is huge for us.”

He said Pasifika peoples had a growing presence and members were keen to contribute to the community.

Then Southern Districts Chinese Association secretary general Yu Yongming received applause for completing his submission after saying English was still unfamiliar to him.

Supported by association president XiangCheng Fan, he told members the group was small but in combination with other groups, an ambulance had been donated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His members were also grateful for the board’s support, using a grant to help mark festival dates, occasions that allowed community members to keep alive cultural practices such as tai chi, singing, and dance.

The association holds tai chi classes featuring instruction open to all, every Sunday on Papakura’s big stage in Central Park.

Board members were asked to support immigrants facing a law change that will give superannuation only to those who have lived in New Zealand for 20 years since obtaining residency. The current law is 10 years.

Papakura-Manurewa representative Cr Daniel Newman says while super was a central government issue, the Chinese community made a significant and valuable contribution wherever it was present across New Zealand and should be supported.


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