Terms of reference for the Migrant Community Reference Group

March 2023


The purpose of the Migrant Community Reference Group (the Group) is to provide a forum for regular two-way communication between the Minister of Immigration and a wide range of migrant communities to:

  • share migrant communities’ experiences of the immigration system and perspectives on immigration (including strategy, policy, administration, and outcomes) to inform the Minister of Immigration’s medium-term priorities for the immigration system
  • share the Minister of Immigration’s medium-term vision and priorities for the immigration system with migrant communities.

The Group will be for discussing and sharing ideas and will not set a work programme or be a forum to resolve individual immigration cases.

It is not intended that the Group will replace existing Ministerial engagement with stakeholders of the immigration regulatory system.


The members of the Group have the following responsibilities and expectations:

  • to contribute constructively to discussions by sharing what’s important to the migrant populations they represent
  • to report back on the discussions to the migrant populations they represent (where applicable)
  • to behave in a manner that is respectful of other participants and their opinions, perspectives, identity, language, or culture
  • to attend meetings and, where not possible to do so, well in advance of meetings to nominate a suitable replacement (to be agreed with the Minister of Immigration’s Office) or provide apologies.
  • The Minister of Immigration has the right to remove a member from the group where their behaviour does not align with these expectations.


The Group will generally meet virtually (ie via Zoom) for up to two hours, once each quarter for up to 12 months. The key exception to this will be the first ‘meet-and-greet’ meeting which is expected to be held in-person. After this initial 12-month period, the Minister may reassess the Group’s role and function.

The Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) will provide limited secretariat support to the Group, including:

  • coordinating and confirming attendance for meetings
  • providing the Minister of Immigration with a short summary of the discussion.

An agenda with a proposed theme or topic for discussion will be circulated in advance of meetings and will aim to provide opportunity for all members to contribute to discussions.


The Group will comprise up to 10 members appointed by the Minister of Immigration. The Minister of Immigration will chair the group.

In appointing members, the Minister of Immigration will take into account the composition of New Zealand’s migrant population, the desire for two-way engagement with a wide range of these communities, the demographic composition of members, and the ability of members to provide helpful insights to inform medium term priorities for immigration.

The term of membership will initially be for 12 months.

Review of Terms of Reference

The Minister of Immigration reserves the right to review these Terms of Reference at any time. Members will be informed of any changes made.


Members of the Group will be remunerated at a daily rate in line with the Cabinet Office Fees Framework (CO (22) 2) for a Group 4 body of level 4. Members will be remunerated for 6 hours work for every meeting (2 hours preparation, 2 hours attendance, 2 hours re-engaging with their migrant communities).

Last updated: 21 March 2023