About Us

Welcome to Auckland!

We are a specialist settlement support agency, providing targeted programmes for skilled migrants, international students, other work visa holders, former refugees and their families. Our programmes and services are delivered in several locations across Auckland.

Our Services Includes:

  • Job Search Support Programmes
  • Information advice and referrals
  • Welcome to Auckland Information Workshops
  • Individual Consultations
  • English Language Advice
  • Volunteer Programmes
  • Community Projects

Our Community Projects Includes:

  • Safari Multicultural Playgroups across Auckland – our playgroups provide a supportive, inclusive and multicultural environment for mothers and their children (0 – 5 years old) from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Depending on capacity of the venue, these playgroups are also open to local/ non-migrant families as well which supports community integration.
  • The WISE Collective (Women – Inspired – Strong – Empowered and Enterprising) – supports women from refugee backgrounds, empowering them to develop knowledge, skills, confidence and resources to enhance their wellbeing and independence. This has led many of the women to generate extra income for their families.
  • Auckland Migrant and Refugee Training Enterprise Project (AMARTE) – is a community based partnership project which provides migrant and refugee women with training in hospitality areas, mainly coffee making, Food Control Planning (FCP) as well as employment preparation support, which can lead them to further entrepreneurial/employment opportunities.

Vision and Mission Statements

  • Vision
    • An inclusive, welcoming Aotearoa/New Zealand for migrants and resettled families and communities who are to achieve equality, access and full participation in every aspect of their lives.
  • Mission
    • To actively enable and support the full integration and participation of migrants and resettled families communities in Aotearoa/New Zealand.


Visibility and value

Build on ARMS’ reputation and continue to increase its credibility, by conducting research on the needs of newcomers, migrants and resettled communities, strengthening its profile and making clear its future areas of focus, the strategic value of the organization, and the quality of its offerings, and advocacy.

Participation, inclusion and wellbeing

Work with partners across sectors to further the goals of the NZ Settlement Strategy through initiatives that promote social and economic participation.  Enhance the visibility of, and support for, migrants , resettled communities and minority ethnic groups in relation to community integration, empowerment and access to resources.

Partnerships and collaboration

Work strategically to leverage current relationships and ARMS’ record of collaboration and partnerships.  Seek out, alliances that complement the organisation’s strategic objectives.  Investigate private sector, commercial and social engagement models that contribute to positive outcomes for migrant individuals and communities..


Build an enduring organisation that is of continuing relevance and value to the individuals and communities it serves and supports, as well as stakeholders and benefactors.  Continue to develop strong external partnerships, and social enterprise initiatives, to establish sustainable organisational funding structures.  Retain and develop skilled and experienced staff, volunteers and trustees who contribute to augmenting the reputation, quality and robustness of the organisation.  Continue to establish sector leadership on matters touching on ARMS’ vision and mission.

ARMS Trust Board

The overarching philosophy of the ARMS Trust is to respect, acknowledge, value and uphold:

(i) The intrinsic worth, rights, dignity and strengths of all people;

(ii) The Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand, including the rights, responsibilities and privileges conferred on and retained by the signatories;

(iii) The many cultural identities, languages and perspectives reflected in Aotearoa New Zealand society;

(iv) Principles of community development that increase the self-reliance of communities and individuals rather than increase dependency on others;

(v) The laws of Aotearoa New Zealand, international human rights, and professional best practice.

Our Board of Trustees

Rahul Govindan – Trust Chair

Rahul is the son of migrants from Kerala who arrived in NZ in the early 80s. Currently he is a manager at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. He has lived, worked and studied in 8 countries and as such empathises with the challenges faced by new migrants to NZ. He is a management consultant that has worked in corporate, NGO and public sectors in NZ and in continental Europe. He has consulted to the leaders of some of the world’s iconic organisations on strategy, trade, politics and performance, and has worked on high profile public campaigns in NZ. However he derives the most pleasure from the voluntary work he has done over the years with community and NGO groups.

He is awe of the tremendous contribution made by migrants over the history of (and the present) NZ, and is excited about working collaboratively with the wider community to build successful migrant stories in the challenging and exciting future that lies ahead for NZ’s largest and most diverse city.

Tracey Moore – Deputy Chair

Tracey Moore is from the UK and migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005, making Auckland her home in 2007, after a couple of years in Wellington. Tracey is a senior leader at Auckland Council and has made her career in local government and the public sector. Her background is mainly in social housing and working with diverse communities, and she has a MSc in Housing. Tracey is committed to the principles of social equity and inclusion, and to contributing to making Auckland a world class city. She views being a board member of ARMS as a great privilege, and an opportunity to bring her experience and skills to help others make their own contribution to this wonderful country of Aotearoa.

Dr Bruce Bryant

Bruce is a first generation New Zealander with a heart and a conscience for those who may need a hand up not a hand out, many of them Maori, and many of those who have recently arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Father of five, Bruce was a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants for over 40 years and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology, Faculty of Business and IT. He holds the degree Doctor of Business Administration from Southern Cross University in Australia; a Master’s degree in Taxation Studies (Hon) from University of Auckland and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Massey University. He is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a senior member of the New Zealand Trustees Association.

He is also an approved mentor to the Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ) service and is an independent director on the board of Core Education Limited, a leading provider of innovative education delivery models in Aotearoa and worldwide.

As well as his role with ARMS, Bruce is a Trustee (Chair) of Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust in Tauranga where in 2014 they turned 37 out of 38 ‘youth at risk’ around from entering into the prison system and back into their whanau, families and in some cases back to school. Te Tuinga means to weave together and this trust that Bruce chairs, is weaving together the local communities of Tauranga Moana.

Saddled alongside this Chairmanship he is also a Trustee of The Going West Trust in Waitakere. These trust roles are honorary positions.

Bruce believes that the taiaha of knowledge is the weapon for the disadvantaged to face the future with, and his networks and combined skills of 40 years in the business sector and the Trusts he is involved with, provide him with a perfect platform to help those that need help most in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dr Elizabeth Fitton-Higgins

Eric Chuah

Eric comes from a family line of migrants since the 1940’s when his grandparents escaped from the Fujian province of China during World War II. He is a second-generation Chinese in Malaysia and migrated to Australia in the 1990’s. He graduated from the University of Melbourne and spent 15 years in the banking industry spanning across multiple cities in Australia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Eric arrived into New Zealand in 2013 as Head of Customer Segments and Migrant Banking for ANZ, leading the bank to chart new territories in record achievements in sales performance, customer satisfaction, and most importantly, staff engagement. He left ANZ in 2017 to start Cultural Connections, a multicultural think tank with a social purpose, focusing on using data to create conversations that lead to positive change. His social research include migrants’ level of happiness and the role that we play in building an inclusive multicultural society.

Maretha Smit

Naoe Hashimoto

Hashimoto is Chairperson of the Japanese Society of Auckland and a member of Auckland Council Ethnic People’s Advisory Panel and Waitemata Ethnic Reference Group. She holds an M.A. in Political Science and has an extensive experience working with refugees and migrants. She had many overseas appointments for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and lived in various countries in Asia, Africa and Europe before migrating to New Zealand in 1995. She currently works for efu Investment Limited as executive assistant and is actively involved in several areas of community work. Her education and training includes international relations, law, and applied linguistics.

Paul S Bryant

Paul Bryant is a strategic advisor with 18 years of commercial experience in technology and business management for private enterprise, hedge funds and investment banks within New Zealand across the major financial trading centres globally. Paul graduated from Auckland University in New Zealand in 1997 with a master’s degree in financial economics and a bachelor-honours degree in law. His first permanent employment was as a lecturer for investment theory at the University of Auckland. He then moved into industry roles with UBS Warburg in Auckland and then to Credit Suisse in London, leveraging his software development experience and solid grounding in financial products and practices.

Paul was a founding employee and head of technology for one of Europe’s most ambitious and successful hedge fund launches from 2002 and was subsequently the CIO of a multi-national service provider to hedge funds and investment banks in London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Paul’s academic background, long-term involvement in the finance industry, and his engagement in private enterprise have produced a rare combination of technical, financial, commercial and strategic experience.

Paul moved back to New Zealand after 15 years of living and working overseas, and has been a principal strategic advisor on engagements for clients located in Europe and Australasia in the years since. Paul lives in Auckland with his wife and three children and tries to find time for his many outdoor and fitness related activities from triathlons and marathons to mountain biking and windsurfing.

Taufil Omar

Taufil is a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia. A third generation Indo-Fijian whose great grand parents sailed to the Islands as part of the Girmit era. Taufil himself an immigrant to Aotearoa in the late nineties, has been in legal practice for over fifteen years. He also gained admission as a Governance Professional under the Governance New Zealand Inc a division of the international body, icsa – The Governance Institute established by Royal Charter in 1902 and holds Associate (ACIS) membership. He specialises in commercial law, trusts and property law. There are a number of not for profit organisations that Taufil acts for professionally.

He has also managed the Lower Meola Restoration Creek Project since around 2010 in partnership with the Auckland Council under the Rasheed Memorial Trust (RMDT) assisting with clearing the area adopted by the RMDT hardworking volunteers of weeds and planting over few thousand native trees and shrubs. RMDT was nominated as one of the leading community ecological conservation groups in Auckland as part of the weed busters award a few years ago. Taufil is also a Board member of the Karate Budokan New Zealand Inc (KBNZ) and takes keen interest in Karate and has achieved the rank of Shodan (1stDan) in this style. His keen interest in KBNZ is due to the impact sports activities have on both the youth and older citizens in providing an alternative learning platform, teaching real life transferable skills, self confidence and discipline. He sees the KBNZ Club as a great way for the local community to engage and to get together via Karate. Taufil has witnessed how the dojo students and parents have built lasting relationships regardless of race, religion or culture which is an amazing result.
Apart from that if he can find time, he enjoys jogging and loves the outdoors especially tramping and finds solace in the native forests of Aotearoa.

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2009

Annual Report 2010

Annual Report 2011

ARMS Annual Report 2012

ARMS Annual Report 2013

Annual Report 2014

Annual Report 2015

Watch our 10th Anniversary video below: