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Minister for Ethnic Communities, Judith Collins congratulates the 62 groups receiving $520,000 from the new Ethnic Communities Development Fund.

The contestable Fund is aimed at improving New Zealand’s social cohesion and supporting the development of established and emerging ethnic communities.

Projects were considered in three categories: cultural events, leadership development and social cohesion.

Cultural events included those for Chinese New Year, Diwali and an African film festival.

Training courses to build entrepreneurial capability among women in Auckland and workshops to train ethnic leaders to be mentors in their communities gained funding in the leadership development category.

Among projects in the social cohesion category were sports and recreational activities for teenagers from refugee backgrounds and marae-based activities to build understanding in a diverse neighbourhood. This was the largest category, including projects aimed at building a sense of belonging and inclusion across New Zealand society.

Projects must be completed during 2017. A list of funded projects is available on the Office of Ethnic Communities website.

The Fund received 134 funding requests totalling about $2.7m. The next funding round will open in August for 2018 projects.

“I look forward to seeing these initiatives progress and contribute towards building strong and connected communities,” Ms Collins says.

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