Kiwi 'buddies' for Asian migrants
4:00AM Friday May 22, 2009
By Lincoln Tan

Auckland City Council will be getting into social networking when it launches a pilot project tomorrow to "buddy up" Chinese-speaking immigrants with Kiwis living in the central city area.

The project, Come Over to Our Place, aims to overcome shyness and the fear of the unknown - identified as barriers that are preventing people from meeting those from different cultural backgrounds in a study by the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

"New migrants often have good connections with their own ethnic or cultural communities, but it can be challenging to create these within the broader community," said Nandita Mathur, the city council's community services manager.

"There are often cultural and linguistic barriers for many New Zealanders both from migrant communities and more established groups who want to mix socially with people from different cultural backgrounds.

"Successful settlement into New Zealand society is a two-way process with benefits for both migrant communities and for those who already live here," Mrs Mathur said.

More here.