Immigration, Ethnicity and Women's Organisations

This essay written by Jacqueline Leckie was first published in Women together: a history of women's organisations in New Zealand in 1993. It was updated by Rachel Simon-Kumar in 2018.

Most of the organisations discussed in this book catered mainly to Pākehā women, all of them immigrants or descendants of immigrants. However, by the early 1990s a large number of women in New Zealand – 284,862, or 16.5 per cent, at the 1991 census – belonged to or were descended from ethnic groups and cultures not identifying as either Pākehā or Māori. Most of these groups have at some time formed their own associations, but not all have had separate women's organisations.

It is not possible to determine the precise number of immigrant or ethnic women's groups in New Zealand, or locate much evidence of their early development. Many have been informal and have left few written records. By the start of the 1990s, studies of immigrants and ethnic minorities within New Zealand had generally ignored women's experience as migrants, and the extent to which migration had been a gendered process. With the exception of some Pacific Islands organisations, male dominance of official positions within most ethnic associations led many researchers to assume, wrongly, that women's roles had been marginal.

Migration to a new land

Substantial non-British female migration to New Zealand did not develop until after the Second World War, although before and during the war, ethnically based women's groups did emerge among Chinese, Jewish, Scottish and Yugoslav women. After 1945 New Zealand's population became more multicultural, particularly with the arrival of large numbers of people from the Pacific Islands. Pacific women developed the largest and most diverse ethnic women's groups, reflecting to a large extent the importance of such organisations in the societies these migrants came from. Greek and Indian women's organisations emerged once communities became established in urban centres. By 1990, very few women's groups had been established by refugee women.

Two features distinguish immigrant and ethnic women's groups. First, there is their central concern with ethnic identity, a concern not shared by groups set up by women of the dominant Pākehā culture. Second, there has been a focus on supporting new migrants and members of their own ethnic group, through both informal social activities and more specific programmes.

Although some ethnic groups and their organisations have been long established in New Zealand, separate women's groups were usually a more recent development. During the nineteenth century and, for some immigrant groups, well into the twentieth, male migration was the norm, so that certain ethnic communities in New Zealand, such as the Chinese, Indians and Yugoslavs, were overwhelmingly male until after the Second World War. This pattern occurred partly because settlement in New Zealand was perceived by such migrants as temporary, but also because New Zealand immigration policy and public attitudes opposed permanent settlement by ethnic groups not originating from Britain or Western Europe. [1] One way to inhibit such settlement was to forbid or discourage the immigration of women and children.

Alexander Turnbull Library

A Chinese women’s group which formed briefly in Dunedin to raise funds for wartime relief work in China, 1944.

The 1920 Immigration Act did, however, make provision for Indian women to join their husbands or fiancés and for minor children to join their fathers in New Zealand; and after the Second World War, immigration policy more actively encouraged the migration of wives and children. The number of women of full Indian descent here, for example, grew substantially, from five in 1916 to 12,558 in 1991. [2] This reflected not only the growth of the New Zealand-born Indian community, many of whom sought partners from overseas, but also the waves of Ugandan refugees during the 1970s, and of Indo-Fijian migrants since 1987. However, there were no formal separate women's organisations in the Indian community here until Mahila Samaj and Indian women's sports teams began during the 1970s.

Slightly more, but still relatively few, Yugoslav and Chinese women migrated to New Zealand before the Second World War. After 1920, an increasing number of Yugoslav women arrived as wives, brides and fiancées, and in 1940 the Yugoslav Ladies' Social Committee formed as part of the Auckland Yugoslav clubs.

The gradual increase in Chinese female migration partly reflected New Zealand's slowness to accept a permanent Chinese community. Only two Chinese women were recorded in the 1874 census; by 1945, the number had risen to 2705. The 1991 census recorded 18,939 Chinese women, reflecting later migration from Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. As Manying Ip noted, there have been diverse Chinese women's organisations here, dominated by the established Chinese communities.

Non-British European women also began to migrate in much greater numbers after the Second World War. Some were 'displaced persons' and refugees from war-torn Europe; they included women from Poland, Hungary, Greece, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and the Baltic States. In the 1950s, the YWCA founded social groups that were joined by many of these women, and sometimes by men.

The main impetus behind the upswing in post-war immigration was the shortage of labour, as New Zealand's economy expanded. This was a major reason for the government's accepting the 38,314 Dutch immigrants who were estimated to have arrived after 1947. [3] Initially the majority were men, but by the mid-1960s the sexes began to equalise. As the Dutch were considered easily assimilable, ideal permanent migrants, women and families were actively encouraged to emigrate. Around 6000 Dutch, including single women recruited for nursing, arrived between 1950 and 1968 under a subsidised scheme administered by the New Zealand and Dutch governments.

As Dutch communities became established in New Zealand, the number of Dutch clubs grew. Women were active within these, but generally did not form separate women's clubs. Exceptions were the Women's Club founded in 1977 within the Christchurch Netherlands Society, and the Tutten Club, a small group founded in 1978 in Wellington that was not attached to the Dutch clubs. These were more organised variants of Dutch women's pattern of meeting in informal groups for coffee and companionship.

Immigrant group on ship

Alexander Turnbull Library, PAColl-4920-3-10-01

British domestic servants arriving in Auckland on the Ruapehu, June 1925. Large numbers of single female immigrants arrived from Britain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; they tended not to form ethnically-based associations, and their needs were catered for by organisations such as the YWCA.

The bulk of female migration to New Zealand was for many decades from the United Kingdom (including Ireland); these women and their descendants had little need to form separate ethnic organisations. During the 1890s, the early twentieth century, and after the two world wars, the Travellers' Aid Society of the YWCA and the Girls' Friendly Society took responsibility for the welfare of women on assisted passages. The YWCA also encouraged the formation of clubs for the newly arrived overseas wives of New Zealand servicemen, from Britain and elsewhere. Some British migrants formed societies based on their regional background; but as with the Dutch, there were few separate women's groups. An exception was the British Women's Society, originally founded in 1969 as the Ladies' Dinner Club. Its members were 'all working class women … the wives of skilled migrants who came to New Zealand' in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. [4] Of longer duration were some Scottish women's groups, such as the New Plymouth Scottish Women's Club, founded in August 1937, and the Scottish Women's Society, established in Auckland through the YWCA in 1935 and continuing until the 1960s. The Irish and Welsh associations do not appear to have sponsored separate women's organisations.

Scottish women debutantes

Standish and Preece photograph, Canterbury Museum, 1992.96.29939

Scottish Society debutantes, 1952. Although one Scottish women’s association formed, women of Scottish descent mainly took part in mixed groups.

Other European migrants to New Zealand included small numbers of Greeks, Swiss, Italians, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and Austrians, some of whom settled during the nineteenth century. [5] The New Zealand government promoted Scandinavian farming settlements in Manawatū and Wairarapa, so women's migration was encouraged. German family migration led to 1752 women being counted in the 1886 census. After the Second World War, the demand for labour resulted in 500 West German and 50 Austrian women being recruited to migrate independently to New Zealand. In 1962, 267 Greeks, mainly from Crete, arrived as domestic and hospital workers. Wellington attracted the biggest concentration, and Greek women there had formed a separate women's auxiliary by the late 1950s. Most of the other smaller European ethnic groups did not have formal women's groups, though women's church fellowships within the Lutheran community played a pivotal role in providing religious, practical and social assistance to women immigrants.

European refugees arriving

Evening Post

Women and children from Europe waiting to hand in immigration papers following their arrival in New Zealand on the ship Hellenic Prince, October 1950. Among the ‘displaced’ persons who came here after the Second World War were Poles, Ukrainians, Latvians, Yugoslavs, Hungarians and Romanians.

When New Zealand employers drew on a much closer source of labour – the Pacific Islands – permanent settlement was not always encouraged. During the 1940s and 1950s, single Cook Islands women migrated to New Zealand to become domestic workers in private homes, in hospitals and on farms. Tongans, often on temporary work permits, began to arrive during the 1950s, followed by an increasing number of Samoans and Niueans during the 1950s and 1960s, and Tokelauans from the mid-1960s. The first half of the 1960s brought a large number of female migrants from the Pacific Islands; by 1966, more Samoan women than men were resident within New Zealand. Sex ratios among Pacific peoples subsequently tended to become even. The downturn in New Zealand's economy after 1973 limited female Pacific migration here, especially after immigration regulations on migration from the Pacific Islands generally tightened in 1974. [6] The last wave prior to 1993 was from Fiji, in the wake of the 1987 coups.

Pacific women’s groups began during the 1950s, with church fellowships and women's basketball (netball) teams. The large number and diversity of women's groups reflected the size and growth of Pacific communities within New Zealand, the dynamic quality of many of these groups, and the active support given to them within Pacific cultures. It also indicated the extent to which Pacific women took charge of needed services that other agencies failed to provide.

Compared with earlier years, New Zealand's immigration policies from 1978 became slightly more multicultural and humane, particularly through provisions allowing refugees to be reunited with their families. New Zealand first opened its doors to refugees in the Second World War. From the 1970s it accepted small numbers of refugees, including Ugandan Asians, Chileans, Iranians, Baha'is and people seeking asylum from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan; the biggest refugee group was people from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. While they all formed ethnic associations, no formal organisations for women existed, although in the main centres English-language classes for women took on a broader supportive role.


Women's groups were predominantly informal within almost all ethnic populations. Many underwent a transition from dealing with the problems of immigrants to addressing the changing needs of women, including those born in New Zealand, who continued to have an ethnic identity. Cultural activities, mutual support, and maintaining ethnic identity were common features of most immigrant and ethnic organisations, and were often the basis from which more specialised projects emerged. Often women's organisations began as auxiliaries within the wider ethnic or religious organisations, in which most of the formal positions, but not necessarily the actual activities, were dominated by men. Many Pacific women's groups, however, tended to develop comparatively autonomously. Some women's groups were not connected with an ethnic community at all, but with the experience of immigration itself; these included some of the Overseas Wives' Clubs.

Throughout much of New Zealand's monoculturally dominated history, ethnic minority women have been subjected to overt and covert discrimination and assimilatory pressures. Maintaining their ethnic identity initially provided support for immigrant women who felt alienated within New Zealand society and missed familiar aspects of their language and culture, including the company of women. Later, many groups shifted their focus to ensuring that aspects of their culture would be transmitted to the younger generation. This sometimes became a source of conflict: some ethnic women's groups were criticised for clinging to cultural patterns and gender roles that derived from their past, and from a radically different – often agrarian and village-based – way of life. In many instances their reinforcing of the 'traditional' roles of wife and mother within their ethnic communities did not appeal to younger women. However, many women considered this reinforcement necessary, in a society comparatively intolerant of ethnic minorities and cultural differences. Women's groups with a strong, overtly domestic focus were also a conduit through which their members learned aspects of the wider society, such as law, health, or recreational activities; in turn, many passed such information on to their families.

Expressing identity

Women's groups did not simply discuss ethnic identity, they expressed it. Organising regular cultural performances, both religious and secular, became a common activity on which many of the older women's organisations were founded. Food was often a major focus – not just for consumption, but as a central symbol of cultural identity and tradition; the food itself could have religious significance, for example the unleavened bread of the Jewish Passover, the prasad which Indian women in the Mahila Samaj prepared to eat after worship, or the special lunch which the Polish women of Koło Polek prepared for Kaziuk, a celebration before Lent. Women's organisations helped to transmit traditional culinary skills to younger women. The communal aspect of cooking, especially in catering for the wider community, also provided important social support (although many women's groups were critical of this role, especially when members were also in paid employment). Several women's groups used their culinary expertise as a major source of fundraising.

Overall, women's groups played a leading role in fundraising for their churches, ethnic associations and other community projects. Some women suggested that this was a crucial reason for women's groups being permitted within some ethnic associations. In addition to raising money through food stalls, bazaars and dinners, women's groups experimented with other ventures: for example, Scottish women in New Plymouth raised money collecting with a 'Jock's Box' to send parcels to Scottish families and military personnel during the Second World War; the Dutch Tutten Club held dances and a St Nicholas evening in order to donate a computer to a handicapped boy in the Netherlands; and a Pacific Islands language nest in Auckland sold hibiscus flowers to visitors during the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

Language maintenance was another important activity. The growth of Pacific language nests after 1980 was phenomenal. Other ethnic groups held weekly language classes before then, although these were not confined to preschool children and did not usually operate specifically through women's groups. The language nests provided early childhood education, and aimed to enhance cultural values and provide support for mothers. Women's groups supplied the language nests with voluntary tutors, organisers, childcare assistance and funding.

Many ethnic women's groups also promoted cultural identity and support through sharing craft skills. This was the specific purpose of some groups, for example Pacific weaving and tivaevae (quilting) groups, or the women's embroidery, knitting and crochet group which the Christchurch Netherlands Association established in 1991. Crafts could have cultural or religious significance, or produce goods for personal use, gifts, display and fundraising. Among Pacific women in particular, they often formed the basis from which a wider range of women's community activities could be organised.

Strength together

Another reason frequently given for forming immigrant and ethnic women's groups is to combat loneliness – by no means an experience unique to immigrant women, but one which is often intensified when living in a different society and learning a new language, remote from family support. Immigrants from cultures relatively similar to that of New Zealand could also experience loneliness. Mrs J.G. Jackson, first president of the New Plymouth Scottish Women's Club, stated that one of its objects was 'to help each other feel at home … welcome Scottish sisters coming to town', and this became reflected in the club's motto, 'to try to be one big happy family ... a' John Tamson's bairns'. [7]

Groups such as the Overseas Wives' Clubs established after the Second World War were primarily a means through which women could meet others not so much from a similar cultural background as in a similar situation – in this case, marriage to New Zealanders they had met through the atypical circumstances of war. These women faced the problems not just of resettlement, but also of living with someone who was familiar with New Zealand cultural patterns, but not with theirs. From the 1980s a small number of Filipinas, most of whom had 'arranged' to marry New Zealand men, began to form support groups.

Religious fellowship

Women's religious fellowships were among the most common and often the earliest types of groups providing social support and spiritual and secular activities for immigrant women, particularly where the church played a central role within an ethnic community. Men were often more accepting of women's organisations which were attached to a church. Often ethnically based women's church fellowships were the source from which other women's groups and activities sprang. The greatest diversity of women's fellowships arose among Pacific women, beginning in 1954 in the Pacific Islanders' Congregational Church in Auckland. For many immigrant women, church fellowships continued an institution which had existed in their home country. For example, the Association of Auckland Chinese Presbyterian Women's Fellowship, founded in 1955, was similar to fellowships women joined in the Chinese Treaty Ports. Women's fellowships within the Lutheran Church would have been important to nineteenth-century Scandinavian and German settlers, as they were to women who emigrated after the Second World War, including members of the Dutch Reformed Church. Originally women within the Greek Orthodox Church in Wellington did not have a separate fellowship, but by the 1950s they had established the Greek Ladies' Philoptochos Society. At first the priest was the president, but when he bowed out of this role the organisation changed its name to the Greek Ladies' Auxiliary. The group raised funds for the church and the Greek community, in addition to other welfare and social activities. By the early 1990s its activities had become more secular, such as holding an art and craft exhibition in 1991. [8]

Religious fellowships were not confined to the Christian churches. Some of the earliest non-Christian women's groups in New Zealand were the women's synagogue auxiliaries. These expanded and became co-ordinated through the Union (later Council) of Jewish Women, founded in 1929. The Indian women's Manila Samaj were formed in the early 1970s partly to organise religious festivals. In 1990 the National Council of Islamic Women, part of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, was formed. Muslim women, however, represented not one but more than 45 different nationalities. Their numbers considerably increased following the Fiji coups. From the 1980s, a small group of refugee Baha'i women from Iran also met in Auckland.


Refugees often have little choice in their final destination, and after arrival there may be few family, village or cultural networks present. This particularly applied prior to the early 1970s, when refugee and government agencies favoured an assimilationist policy. Isolation, loneliness and confusion, all common immigrant experiences, were intensified for women who had undergone the trauma of war, lost their family, lived in refugee camps, and then been resettled in an unknown country with few or no kin, church, or social networks, including women's groups. Koło Polek, the Polish Women's League in Wellington, was one of the few refugee women's groups in New Zealand in the 1990s. The Union of Jewish Women also assisted refugees.

In 1988 the Refugee Action Group was formed in Wellington to deal with the particular problems faced by refugee women. It centred on a monthly meeting of a small core group of women of differing origins, as well as women working with refugees. Membership in 1992 included women from Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iran, Hungary, Chile, Czechoslovakia and New Zealand. The group liaised on behalf of refugee women with government agencies, especially the Ministry of Women's Affairs, to address problems such as the lack of childcare for Cambodian women attending English language classes. The 'Mothers' Class', a weekly community-based class held at the Wellington Multicultural Institute from 1975, also constituted a refugee women's support group.

Adjusting to the new society

In general, ethnic minorities within New Zealand avoided any overtly political agenda, and the women's groups followed this pattern. This reflected the preoccupation of new groups with adjustment to the new society, a lack of confidence in the public arena, and discrimination when they did seek to become involved in public affairs. (This is not to deny that some ethnic associations did lobby at the political level, for example when Asians faced racial discrimination during the 1920s.) Another factor was that political involvement was considered a male activity within certain cultures.

During the Second World War, groups such as the Auckland Yugoslav Ladies' Social Committee and the New Plymouth Scottish Women's Club raised money for the Allied war effort and patriotic events, and Chinese women formed groups within the All-New Zealand Save China Association to raise funds for relief in China. The Union of Jewish Women sent relief to Jewish refugees and co-ordinated the activities of the New Zealand branch of the Women's International Zionist Organisation. Some Pacific women's groups, such as the Fono a Tama'itai Samoa (Samoan Council of Women), founded in 1973, did aim to take on a lobbying role, especially in immigration matters affecting Samoans. Koło Polek promoted the special needs of some Polish people here, such as the elderly. Like many ethnic associations, they also advocated that national superannuation be made portable to other countries.

Indian women's group

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327) 2891/72

These women dressed in contemporary Indian garments for a fashion parade organised by Mahila Samaj, the women's group of the Wellington Indian Association, in 1972.

Several ethnic groups had women's sports teams. Some of the earliest were for basketball and table tennis among Chinese Presbyterian women. In 1948 they inaugurated the first national Chinese sports tournament to celebrate Double Tenth (10 October), China's National Day. Pacific communities also established women's sports teams, both through the church and within ethnically based sporting associations, beginning in the early 1950s with basketball. Indian sports clubs presented a strong women's hockey contingent from the early 1970s. Although these teams received an initially cool reception within the clubs, their formation resulted in a break from the tradition of women being honorary members only, through family membership. Once Indian sportswomen became financial members, they began to take a much greater role in club administration and activities. The number of ethnically based women's sports teams increased as populations grew. They appealed particularly to younger women; they also had an important social role and often played a major part in fundraising activities for their ethnic community.

Welfare of their community

Most ethnic women's groups, especially the church fellowships, featured a concern for the welfare of their community that was often expressed through fundraising and other voluntary work. The Greek Ladies' Philoptochos Society was originally established as the 'friends of the poor', although this was not always its primary activity. Social service was important in the Union of Jewish Women, formed during the Depression. Pacific women's groups were the most active – especially after the mid-1980s, through implementing grass-roots programmes dealing with health, domestic violence and child abuse. The scale of welfare activities reflected the size of these communities and the extent to which they were adversely affected in health, welfare and employment. The establishment of women's groups to tackle these issues suggests that they had not been adequately addressed by outside agencies; also, many Pacific women were reluctant to seek assistance and information outside their own communities. The Pacific Islands Women's Project (which became the Pacific Islands Women’s Health Project in 1993), founded in 1983, co-ordinated several women's groups dealing with family health and violence; among ethnic women's groups, these represented the strongest articulation of a feminist perspective, aimed at empowering women. Although at times critical of some behaviour and values within Pacific communities, these groups emphasised working within a Pacific cultural framework. More established organisations, such as PACIFICA, took a proactive role in promoting issues concerning Pacific women's health from the late 1980s.

In the early 1980s, the term 'women of colour' was adopted by some lesbians and feminists who identified as 'non-white tauiwi'. Many women of colour were actively involved in their own cultural communities, as well as in lesbian and feminist communities. In the predominantly Pākehā lesbian and feminist communities, women of colour and lesbians of colour at times felt excluded and unacknowledged in their dual identities. In response, they met and established groups that embraced their identities as feminists, as lesbians, and as being 'of colour' in a white-dominated society.

A Wellington-based Women of Colour group which met in 1983–84 included Indian, Chinese, Samoan and Māori lesbian and heterosexual feminists. In April 1986, a gathering for Chinese lesbians was held at the Wellington Lesbian Club. This group broadened into a Lesbians of Colour group, as women from other non-white ethnic origins – Samoan, Cook Islands, Parsi, Fijian – became involved. They met monthly for friendship, support and political discussion, sharing resources, knowledge and food. The group was most active between 1989 and 1991; its members felt that it helped to strengthen the solidarity and increase the visibility of lesbians of colour.

Separate or together?

A number of historical and cultural factors bear upon why separate women's groups formed in only some immigrant or ethnic populations here. The marked differences in patterns of migration between different groups may have been important in determining whether women's groups developed. Generally groups were more likely to form among 'chain migrants', that is, where immigrants in New Zealand encouraged and assisted their kin and fellow villagers to join them. This pattern applied particularly to Chinese, Indians, Yugoslavs, Greeks and Pacific women, all of whom formed women's groups. By contrast, refugee women often found themselves part of an ethnic group with which they had few kin or local connections. But although migration from the same locality, where women had close cultural and kin ties, seems to have been more conducive to the establishment of women's organisations, it does not account for their slow and restricted development.

A major factor was whether such organisations were an accepted and valued part of the society the immigrants came from. Although all societies have specified gender roles, not all have formalised women's groups. By far the greatest diversity of formal and informal ethnic women's associations in New Zealand prior to 1993 was found among Pacific women. This was not simply because of the size of Pacific communities here; it also reflected the existence of strong women's associations in the Pacific Islands. These were related to the high degree of communal and hierarchical organisation within many Polynesian villages, and the pivotal role of the Christian churches. The range of activities and the power of the women's groups varied among the different island groups, and had also undergone changes since the introduction of Christianity and a cash economy. In 1977 Penelope Schoeffel pointed out that Western Samoa was one of the few nations where there were ‘strong, multifunctional women's associations’ which were ‘a major social institution'. [10] Though the missionaries in Western Samoa weakened the identity of existing women's groups, they promoted women's auxiliary associations within the churches. Deacons' wives played a prominent role in organising women to cater for the needs of the minister and to raise funds for the church. Both church and state then encouraged the formation of women's health and village community committees throughout most of the Pacific Islands. These had a formal structure, with an elected committee, and in many villages adult women might be fined if they did not take part. Besides these formal structures, women organised their own communal activities for gardening, fishing, crafts, cooking, childcare and income-generating projects.

Women's groups in Asia were not usually as formally organised, nor did they play such a major role in village affairs. The timing and context of migration were also important in determining whether women's groups were acceptable. Manying Ip notes that Chinese women from a patriarchal Confucian background were unlikely to have encountered women's organisations. Most Cambodian women migrants originated from peasant communities, where they had played a central, but not necessarily equal, role in the family economy. The value of this role diminished for new arrivals to New Zealand, where the women often became dependent upon their husband's income, or were welfare beneficiaries. Such women were unlikely to form their own new organisations. However, some women migrants from India were familiar with Mahila Samaj or with women's groups promoted by Gandhian nationalists. These groups were active in community, social and religious activities in many of the villages and cities of Gujarat, the area from which the majority of Indian migrants came.

Welsh choir

Alexander Turnbull Library, PAColl-0262-01

Welsh women’s choir performing at radio station 5ZB in Wellington for St David’s Day, March 1940. This choir was formed under the auspices of the Welsh Society.

The acceptance, role and status of women's groups also depended on whether women originated from rural or urban areas, and on their education and class backgrounds. A crucial factor may have been whether it was acceptable for men and women unrelated by kin to socialise together. Where this was so, separate women's groups were less likely to form. There were few separate women's organisations within the Dutch clubs, where activities were generally open to both men and women. David McGill suggested that Welsh settlers had a progressive attitude to women; although women were among the founders of the Wellington Welsh Society in 1907 and the Auckland Welsh Society in 1925, there were no separate women's groups.

On the other hand, cultures accustomed to strongly sex-segregated activities did not always consider it acceptable for women to form their own organisations. A crucial factor may have been the public role accorded to women. Within communities where women were expected to lead a secluded lifestyle, women's organisations were inhibited by their reluctance to socialise or attend meetings without their husbands, or they had to overcome their husband's opposition to the group. Women's participation in activities outside the family sometimes led to fears of too much independence. Women may have had more scope to socialise publicly in their place of origin, particularly if it was a small town or village, than in New Zealand.

Greek women at airport

Alexander Turnbull Library, Evening Post EP/1962/2905

Young Greek women arriving at Wellington airport to work in New Zealand hotels, hospitals and other institutions, October 1962.

Although Greeks in New Zealand formed several ethnic associations, these were dominated by men; I.H. Burnley suggests that this reflected rural Greek customs which discouraged women from social exchange in such public organisations. In Auckland during the 1970s, men could socialise at Greek coffee houses, but women's presence was not encouraged. Other women found ways to socialise separately. The British Women's Society is said to have been formed in 1969 because women from Britain found public social venues in New Zealand too male-dominated, and decided to organise their own social activities. Similarly, the American Women's Club, formed in October 1976, centred its activities around luncheons in various restaurants.

Men were less likely to question women's involvement in meetings involving the church. Time was usually scheduled for church attendance, and in New Zealand, until the 1980s, women were unlikely to be in paid work on Sundays. But this did not apply to non-Christian communities. In many Asian communities in New Zealand before 1980, regular religious practice was traditionally conducted privately by women within the home; their public attendance was usually confined to religious festivals. Only from the late 1980s did Indian communities in New Zealand raise money to build permanent mandirs (temples). The absence of formal women's organisations within most Asian religious institutions inhibited the development of other women's groups. As noted, Muslim women in New Zealand established the National Council of Islamic Women only in 1990. They did not have an overt role in the Muslim communities in New Zealand, and they did not incur the religious obligations which drew men to meet publicly. The council aimed to encourage Muslim women, often isolated from one another, to socialise, pray together, and advance the public role of Muslim women, so as to gain formal representation in the constitution of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand. As there were a wide range of views among Muslim men concerning women's roles, their willingness to accept change was mixed.

The presence or absence of women's groups not only reflected cultural gender roles; it also indicated the relationship between an ethnic group and the dominant Pākehā culture – whether the cultural patterns of the group were considered 'acceptable', and that group's attitude to assimilation. Hank Schouten has suggested that the Dutch character of being 'industrious, thorough, enthusiastic and conformist', and their determination to 'become indistinguishable within a generation' would not have fostered the formation of Dutch women's associations. [11] He noted an ambivalent attitude to Dutch clubs in general, and often little support for activities organised by the Dutch, whose clubs were ‘weaker and smaller, with a lower retention of second generation members, than clubs serving other ethnic groups such as the Italians, Greeks, Poles and Pacific communities'. [12] Similar comments could be applied to immigrants from Britain and Ireland.

The extent to which immigrant women were accepted within the dominant Pākehā culture was also significant in determining whether they had the confidence to join mainstream women's groups. Many such groups became more accepting of ethnic differences over time; but most women from non-English-speaking societies, of 'different' ethnicities and 'different' colour, were reluctant to become involved. Educated, English-speaking women from urban backgrounds possibly felt less reticent, although many such women were more comfortable establishing or joining a group which reinforced their cultural identity. This points to the role that educated, articulate women played in group formation, and whether such women continued to identify with their less educated sisters in New Zealand. Many Cambodian women refugees originated from predominantly peasant backgrounds and were preliterate; few had the confidence to take a leadership role. By contrast, many Jewish women in New Zealand before the Second World War came from an educated, urban background. Manying Ip has noted that Kathleen Chan, the founder of the Chinese Presbyterian Women's Fellowship, was both well-educated and a minister's wife, like many of the leaders of Pacific women's groups. However, among Pacific women there were also a number of leaders with low levels of formal education, highlighting the importance of socialisation within cultures with strong female leadership models. Educated men also helped some women's groups, such as the Wellington Mahila Samaj, to form; the Chinese Women's League, too, had male advisers.

The size of an ethnic community appeared to be another obvious factor, although not the major one, as the experience of the Dutch and of Jewish women showed. Location was also influential: geographical dispersion inhibited the formation of women's groups, for example among the early Scandinavians and the Dalmatian (Croatian) women who settled around Dargaville. Many Dutch settlers were also widely separated from one another. Before the Second World War, the few Chinese and Indian women in New Zealand mainly worked with their husbands in small rural businesses or on farms, and women's groups did not emerge until there were a sizeable number of women concentrated in urban centres (the Pukekohe Mahila Samaj was an exception).

In the early 1980s refugee women were affected by a deliberate policy of dispersion throughout New Zealand, to counteract the formation of 'ghettos'. Even within cities, dispersion could be a problem: Josephine Baddeley noted in 1977 that Greek women in Auckland were inhibited from meeting more frequently because of their scattered settlement, the lack of neighbourhood institutions such as a marketplace, 'and the comparative impersonality of work relations after the intimacy of communal work in villages', leaving 'only costly social alternatives'. [13] There was also the sense of psychological isolation which many immigrant women endured, where they felt powerless and unable to make contact with women in a similar situation.

Lack of transport was also a stumbling block. Newly arrived immigrants were unlikely to have their own vehicles; in those families that did, often the women did not drive or have access to a vehicle. Those speaking little English were often too afraid or uncertain, or had too little money, to use public transport. Immigrant women from rural areas could take many years to adjust to comparatively big cities such as Wellington and Auckland. Some outside agencies addressed this problem by providing funding for transport.

Lack of available time inhibited women too. With many immigrant groups, women's paid work was vital to the family income, and they also remained responsible for most of the domestic duties. Often immigrant women had to accept shift work, leaving them little time for other activities, or they had family responsibilities while their husbands were doing shift work. Refugees, in particular, had to completely re-establish their lives, so had little spare time. Many immigrant women also worked very long, unpaid hours in family businesses and farms. When young Indian women formed a hockey team in Wellington in 1971, the only time reluctant parents and elders allowed them to practise was early on Sunday mornings. Yet Pacific women, who had the highest rates of full-time employment by 1990, also formed the greatest number of groups. During the late 1940s, Cook Islands domestic workers could usually be guaranteed a half day off each week to attend church. It was from the Pacific Islanders' Congregational Church that women's fellowships and sports teams first developed here. Indeed, among most migrant communities, where there was little spare leisure time, social activities tended to converge on religious groups.

External agencies, notably the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), were another significant factor, although their role diminished as migrant women adjusted to the social institutions within New Zealand, or independent ethnic associations were founded. During the 1980s, YWCA's involvement in women's issues such as family violence was an important catalyst in encouraging the formation of the Pacific Islands Women's Project. Pacific women's health and anti-violence groups also received training and support from Rape Crisis and other feminist groups. Shifts in public awareness of women's health and social problems were also helpful. Initial models for some Pacific women's groups were provided by Māori women's initiatives, such as Te Kōhanga Reo and groups dealing with family health, violence, or traditional arts and crafts. From 1983, the Girls' Friendly Society in Wellington moved into assisting refugee women in particular.

Accepting cultural diversity

Another important social change within New Zealand was the shift toward accepting cultural diversity. This helped women's cultural groups to attract external financial subsidies. The mushrooming of Pacific women's organisations also reflected the strong networks between them, with organisations such as PACIFICA and the Pacific Islands Women's Project providing a national focus. In contrast, most other ethnic women's groups developed autonomously. However, some maintained links with similar international religious and secular organisations.

By the 1990s many ethnic women's groups were finding it difficult to attract younger women. However, new groups were developing, especially in Pacific communities. These were addressing issues of language maintenance, preschool education, women's health, violence, and sexual abuse, as well as providing mutual support. Many of the leaders of these new groups were the daughters of women who had gained confidence within their own and the wider community through taking part in the more traditional ethnic women's groups.

Jacqueline Leckie


Because Pacific women’s organisations during the years 1994 to 2018 are comprehensively covered by Moeata Keil, the focus here is on what are broadly termed ‘ethnic’ women’s organisations – that is, formed by and for women with heritage other than Māori, Pacific or Pākehā. In the years between 1994 and 2018, ethnic women’s organisations flourished, reflecting in large part the dramatic demographic, socio-economic and political transitions among this group of women in Aotearoa New Zealand. The scale of ethnic women’s organising also reflected transitions within the political landscape, both global and local, that galvanised mobilisation among marginalised communities, including ethnic women.

Rise in non-European migration

Impelled by the immigration reforms of 1986, the 25 years after 1993 saw a dramatic rise and diversification of migrant populations from non-European countries. According to the 2013 census, the proportion of ethnicities other than Māori and Pākehā had almost doubled since the turn of the century, to around 20 per cent of the population. [14] This included those born in New Zealand as well as those born overseas, with the latter registering the largest population increases. In 2013, around a quarter of New Zealand’s entire population was overseas-born. [15] The growth was seen across the main groups considered to be of ‘Other’ ethnicity: between 2006 and 2013, the Asian population increased by 33 per cent, the Pacific population by 11 per cent, and the Middle Eastern, Latin American and African (MELAA) population by 35 per cent. [16] The last category was constituted for the first time in the 2006 census to acknowledge the growth and diversification of the ethnic population.

There was also a diversification of pathways of entry for new migrants, which had gendered impacts. Through the 1990s, there was a preference for skilled migrants who desired to settle and contribute to New Zealand society as permanent residents and, in due course, as citizens. Ethnic migrant women entered the country as either principal applicants filling skills shortages, or as secondary applicants accompanying their spouses. Overall, data on Asian migrants from this period shows that a majority of those residing in New Zealand were women. [17] ‘Astronaut families’ received attention in the late 1990s. These were migrant families, often from Asian sources such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, split across more than one continent: some family members – often women and children – were domiciled in New Zealand, while their spouses were employed overseas. [18] From 2009 onwards, immigration policies favoured temporary migration in a range of short-term categories, including essential skills workers, seasonal workers, international students, and investors, with fewer people transitioning into permanent residencies and citizenships. Some of these patterns of diversified migration were especially feminised, with women concentrated in occupations such as nursing and caregiving. [19]

Overall, a picture of heterogeneity among ethnic women in New Zealand emerged in the new century. On the one hand, as has been substantially documented elsewhere, there were new migrant women settling in the country who struggled with language, isolation from family, alienation, financial strain, and often, too, insecurity of legal status. [20] Similar experiences among women from refugee backgrounds were compounded by the traumas encountered both in their countries of origin and during their journey to New Zealand. [21]

On the other hand, both first-generation migrant ethnic women and those born in New Zealand could also be well established socially and economically, leaders in their own right in an array of fields. Ethnic migrant and refugee women in New Zealand made their mark nationally and internationally as elected local and national representatives, writers and scholars, businesswomen, public intellectuals, artists, film-makers, community activists, and sportswomen. Unsurprisingly, the organisations which emerged after 1993 reflected this diversity among ethnic women.

A focus on diversity

The beginnings of a second influence on ethnic women’s organisations can be traced back to the 1999–2008 Labour-led government, which encouraged participatory democracy and the engagement of the community and voluntary ‘third sector’ through creating supportive policy environments. These included the declaration of the Statement of government intentions for an improved community-government relationship (2001), which signalled the government’s intent to revitalise civil society; the establishment of the Office of Community and Voluntary Sector (2003); and the Charities Commission (2007). Successive governments were also receptive to the inclusion of diversity as a strategic priority, as evidenced in the expansion of agencies such as the Office of the Race Relations Conciliator, the Ministry of Social Development, and the Office of Ethnic Affairs/Communities. [22] Many community groups – including ethnic women – capitalised on this enabling period by mobilising organisations that were ‘by ethnic and for ethnic’ people.

The formation of a National-led government in 2008 ushered in a period of economic conservatism that tempered the earlier decade of dramatic regeneration within the community sector. Budget cuts at first had an impact on existing programmes; but by National’s third term in government, the survival of organisations themselves was in question, due to greater pressure to streamline and reduce service delivery. Ethnic women’s organisations, especially those offering specialist services, were in particular danger of being amalgamated as units within larger non-ethnic NGOs. For example, Shakti’s Wellington branch lost its funding in 2017, and resorted to an array of fundraising measures to keep open its refuge for ethnic women. [23]

Against this backdrop, ethnic women’s organisations tended to be clustered around a range of functions, such as provision of social and settlement services; cultural identity preservation through language, arts and dance; networking; and specialist support services, especially in relation to family and interpersonal violence. Some organisations were pan-ethnic: for example, organisations such as Shakti Community Council in Auckland and Shama in Hamilton catered to the needs of ethnic women across nationalities and religious groupings. Others were specific to ethno-religious or linguistic groups. While the majority of ethnic women’s organisations worked in their local communities, others such as Shakti had branches in Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch, and also worked transnationally.

Maintaining culture and community

As Jacqueline Leckie’s 1993 essay noted, maintenance of culture and community and establishment of supportive networks and friendships are core purposes of ethnic women’s organising. Examples formed after 1993 included Mujeres In Aotearoa (MIA) and Wellington Arpilleras Collective, for women from Latin America; The Pearl of the Island Foundation (PIF) for women from Turkey; and Mahila Samaj and the Woman Care Trust for women of Indian descent. But although these organisations were focused on maintaining cultural, religious and linguistic practices, they also prioritised showcasing their cultures to the wider New Zealand society; their members were involved in dance, arts, craft, and music, placing ethno-religious festivals such as Diwali, the Chinese Lantern Festival, or the Latin Festival on the New Zealand cultural calendar. The role of food was significant, connecting women in deep ways to their countries of origins. For example, many ethnic women’s organisations offered cooking classes as a path to bonding among women from particular communities; but often this was also a means to extend friendships beyond their own communities. [24]

These organisations often also focused on the social and economic inclusion of new migrant women in mainstream society, funded by settlement programmes run by the Ministry of Social Development. Typical programmes included free English classes, social services, including information around housing and immigration, health and wellbeing, skills development in digital literacy, road safety classes, legal literacy, finance and budgeting, and business support. The Korean Women’s Network New Zealand (KWNNZ) on Auckland’s North Shore started out in 2009 as an informal coffee club with five members, after some Korean women identified challenges to settling down in New Zealand, including isolation and depression, low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and difficulties with learning to speak English. By 2011, it had over 60 members, and the goal of being a bridging organisation between the New Zealand government and the Korean community. Officials from agencies such as Work and Income, ACC and the local DHB gave lectures on government services.

Responding to racism and partner violence

From the late 1990s there was also growing awareness of the complex problem of domestic and family violence within ethnic communities. Migration stressors, including unemployment and dislocation, as well as cultural and community practices such as dowry, joint family systems, and under-age ‘forced’ marriages, exacerbated ethnic women’s vulnerabilities to intimate partner and family violence. [25] Systemic factors, such as racism and sexism in the labour market, lack of political representation, and discrimination in society, further marginalised them into positions of disadvantage, sometimes making it difficult for them to leave violent relationships. Differences in intergenerational expectations could extend these conflicts to younger women as well. [26]

Organisations such as Shakti (Auckland), the New Zealand Sikh Women’s Association (South Auckland), and Shama (Hamilton) were established against the backdrop of a growing need for culturally-sensitive, specialist services in the community. Often spearheaded by women survivors of violence, these organisations provided a range of services. The Shakti Community Council Inc. was the first such organisation, established in 1995. In 2018 it offered a 24-hour, multilingual crisis call service for women in violent and abusive situations, five culturally sensitive refuges, and drop-in centres, as well as outreach, advocacy, counselling, psycho-educational programmes, legal referral, and an interpreting service. Shama, the Hamilton Ethnic Women’s Centre, was set up in 2002 with the objective of providing culturally appropriate support, advocacy, and programmes to ethnic and migrant women, and to their children and families. Through life-skills classes in cooking, English and language, Shama created a ‘safe space’ in which migrant women could build new support structures to help them through family violence.

These organisations spontaneously developed in a unique way within the ‘ethnic sector’. On the one hand, they represented ‘for and by’ ethnic women-led transformative community mobilisation. They worked with, and also challenged, the cultural contexts that constrain and disempower ethnic women. At the same time, they were also an arm of government service delivery: they collaborated closely with government agencies such as New Zealand Police and the Department of Corrections, as well as religious bodies and mainstream refuges, in providing essential support for women experiencing family violence.

Pan-ethnic groups

Notably, the growth of pan-ethnic organisations during this period marked new connections among ethnic women that were not solely about shared cultural backgrounds. For example, the New Zealand Somali Women’s Association transformed into the New Zealand Ethnic Women’s Trust (NZEWT) in 2001, to include women from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, many of whom were from refugee backgrounds. [27] The Women’s International Network Social Group (WINGS), set up in Whāngārei in 2006, boasted of its transnational membership, from Scotland and Slovakia to Sri Lanka and South Africa, [28] whose main commonality was their status as new settlers. Shama, the Hamilton Ethnic Women’s Centre, catered to all migrant women whose ethnicity was defined as ‘not Māori, Pacific or Anglo-Celtic/Pakeha New Zealanders’. [29] The use of the term ‘ethnic’ in this sense was more than a descriptor for a population group; it had started to become a unifying term depicting specific interests, experiences, and needs of a broad minority group. To that end, ‘ethnic’ assumed the status of a political category. [30]

As the identity of this ethnic minority coalesced in the new century, some ethnic organisations sought to lay the political foundations for a diverse New Zealand. The New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils, set up in 1989, firmly focused its strategic goals around engendering multiculturalism within a bicultural framework. Through its Women’s Platform, the group facilitated the participation of ethnic women in programmes such as Huarahi Hou, a Multicultural NZ initiative connecting migrants to tangata whenua and the Treaty through cultural immersion and shared storytelling. [31] Women Walk and Work for Peace first formed as a Wellington group in 2010. It aimed specifically to bring together Māori, Pacific and ethnic women ‘to be a part of creating a gender equal, peaceful society where women from all backgrounds are respected, supported, empowered and celebrated’. [32]

Muslim women's organising

Global contexts further framed ethnic women’s organising in Aotearoa New Zealand. In particular, the 2001 9/11 attacks on American soil by terrorists and the ensuing reports were directly responsible for the growing antipathy towards Islam and Muslims in New Zealand. In the weeks following 9/11, Muslim women in distinguishable clothing became the targets of Islamophobic abuse. While organisations such as the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (ICWNZ), established in 1991, predated the events of 9/11, others grew directly out of the need to support Muslim women and girls in practising their faith as Kiwis in an unprecedented anti-Islamic climate. The Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA), for example, was set up in 2007 to connect Muslim women and girls to New Zealand, its people and its traditions in an Islamically-compliant manner. [33] Youth camps, swimming lessons, volunteering, education in health and safety, annual conferences and forums on topical subjects were among the activities offered by these organisations.

The Umma Trust began with a different focus. It was formed by a group of Auckland-based Iraqi former refugee women, some of them medical professionals, in 2003, following the American invasion of Iraq. Their initial focus was to raise funds to buy medical supplies for a Thalassemia Unit in a Baghdad hospital. Over the years, the Umma Trust continued fundraising for international development initiatives to address issues of health, education and gender violence in Afghanistan and Somalia. Alongside their international work, the Trust also focused on local needs for culturally and spiritually responsive social services to support the resettlement of Muslim women, in particular those of refugee background. [34]

Ethnic leaders and new groups

Recognising the needs of the growing generation of professional and business ethnic women, in the 2010s there was growth in initiatives aimed at developing networks and leadership, and fostering their representation in decision-making roles. The Office of Ethnic Affairs/Communities ran Ethnic Women’s Leadership Programmes, and also supported the establishment of non-profit organisations such as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Centre (WEC), aimed at providing community-based mentoring for business and leadership. A special focus was on young ethnic women’s leadership programmes, often resourced by the government and run out of community organisations. Similarly, independent organisations such as the Korean Women’s International Network New Zealand provided leadership initiatives for Korean women migrants through training and lectures, while also connecting them transnationally with Korean women in other countries.

Meanwhile, rapidly rising numbers of nurses were coming from the Philippines; according to the Nursing Council of New Zealand, by 2015-2016 approximately 55 per cent of Internationally Qualified Nurses (IQNs) had come from the Philippines, not including unregistered nurses working in the aged-care sector. The Filipino Nurses Association of New Zealand, Inc. was set up in 2015 with the aim of supporting qualified nurses with employment and immigration; in 2018 it had more than 200 formal and 1400 informal members. [35]

Associations and organisations representing the interests of younger and diverse ethnic and Asian peoples were also gaining momentum. One example was EquAsian, a support group for rainbow community people of all ages from the Asian region. This Auckland-based group was set up in response to challenges faced by Asian rainbow youth as a ‘minority within a minority’ within the LGBTQI community. The group met socially once a month in a safe, culturally-inclusive environment. [36]

At the end of her essay, Jacqueline Leckie highlighted an ‘important social change within New Zealand … the shift toward accepting cultural diversity.’ This shift continued in the 2000s and 2010s, to the general benefit of all New Zealanders, albeit with some setbacks. In many ways, ethnic women came into their own during this period, making significant gains in social, economic and political arenas. The significance of community-based organising should not be underestimated; while many ethnic women’s needs were embedded within the concerns of their communities, they were also distinct, and entwined with goals of women’s empowerment, equality and inclusion. Supportive environments, from government, from community, and from other mainstream women’s organisations, would be necessary to keeping the momentum of their mobilisation going successfully into the future.

Rachel Simon-Kumar


[1] The 1920 Immigration Restriction Amendment Act laid the basis of New Zealand's immigration policy until 1974. It strengthened the 'white' basis to immigration policy by giving preference to those of British birth and parentage, unless special ministerial provision permitted migration from other regions. In general, New Zealand's immigration policy overwhelmingly preferred those 'white people' whose cultures were deemed to be most easily assimilable to that of Pākehā New Zealand.

[2] New Zealand census, 1991.

[3] Schouten, 1992, p. 256. Around two-thirds stayed in New Zealand.

[4] Pauline Hoare (founder and patron), correspondence, 1992. The Ladies' Dinner Club became the Durham Club, then the British Women's Society.

[5] See McGill, 1982, pp. 35–44. He estimated that between 1870 and 1939, about 5000 Danes, 3000–4000 Swedes and 2500 Norwegians migrated to New Zealand. See Henning and Larsen (eds), 1990, pp. 25–26 on early Danish women settlers. At the 1886 census, 761 (35 per cent) of Danes resident in New Zealand were women.

[6] Tougher regulations were introduced in 1974, with the requirement of entry permits for all non-New Zealand citizens. A temporary work permit scheme for Tongans, Samoans and Fijians favoured males. See Pearson, 1990, p. 122.

[7] New Plymouth Scottish Women's Club history, 1958, p. 4.

[8] Dina Viatos, Helen Samiotis, interviews, 1992. Burnley (1972, p. 80) gave the original name as the Orthodox Ladies' Evangelistica Association, and suggested that it was formed in the early 1960s.

[9] Jenny Morgan, interview, Wellington, 1992.

[10] Schoeffel, 1977, p. 1.

[11] Schouten, 1992, p. 169.

[12] Schouten, 1992, p. 171.

[13] Baddeley, 1977, p. 223.

[14] Statistics New Zealand, ‘2013 Census QuickStats about national highlights: Cultural diversity’, 3 December 2013. Available from:

[15] Statistics New Zealand, ‘2013 Census QuickStats about national highlights: Ethnic groups in New Zealand, 15 April 2014. Available from:

[16] Statistics New Zealand, 15 April 2014.

[17] Badkar, J. et al., 2007.

[18] Ho, E., ‘Multi-Local Residence, Transnational Networks: Chinese ‘Astronaut’ Families in New Zealand’, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, Vol. 11 No. 1, 2007, pp. 145–64; Ho, E. and Bedford, R., ‘Asian Transnational Families in New Zealand: Dynamics and Challenges’, International Migration, No. 46, pp. 41–62, 2008.

[19] Meares et al., 2010. 

[20] See also Robertson, N., et al., ‘Living at the Cutting Edge: Women’s Experiences of Protection Orders, Volume 1: The Women’s Stories’, School of Law and the Māori and Psychology Research Unit, University of Waikato (for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs), Hamilton, New Zealand, 2007; Pillai, 2001; Jansen, 2015.

[21] For example, see De Souza, 2011.

[22] Simon-Kumar, Rachel, 2018.

[23] Harris, Sarah, ‘Shakti Wellington refuge only one not government-funded’, NZH, 28 April 2017.

[25] Simon-Kumar, R. et al., 2017; Boutros, N. et al., 2011.

[26] Fu, Mengzhu, ‘What will it take to end gender-based violence?’, Women's Studies Journal, Vol. 29 No. 2, 2015, p. 50; Mayeda, David T. and Raagini Vijaykumar, Developing intimate partner violence intervention services for youth from migrant communities of colour: a technical report for Shakti Community Council, Inc. based on interviews with youth from Asian and Middle Eastern communities in Auckland, New Zealand, University of Auckland, Auckland, 2015.

[27] See

[28] See

[29] This definition is used by the Office of Ethnic Affairs/Communities. See

[30] Simon-Kumar, R. (2018).

[31] See

[32] See

[33] See

[34] Personal communication, member of The Umma Trust.

[35] ‘Filipino nurses: our fastest-growing nursing workforce’, Nursing Review, 28 May  2017.

[36] See

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