Mobile consulate in town
Filipino immigrants travelled from across the North Island for the first mobile consulate service which was temporarily set up in Tokoroa.
More than 200 Filipino people made the trip, some coming as far as Dargaville.
The mobile unit is a new initiative run by the Phillipine Embassy and will travel across the North Island.
It spent a week in the South Waikato and is expected to return in the second half of the year.
New Zealand Phillipines Ambassador Virgina Bernavidez said Tokoroa was an ideal location.
‘‘It is the best place to kick off our 2015 scheme.’’
She said it saved families a lot of time and money as they did not have to travel to Wellington.
The unit helped with vari- ous services such as passports, documents and citizenships.
The centre was set up at a hall on Mossop Road and ran for about 12 hours each day.
Bernavidez first became involved in the South Waikato two years ago when the idea of the North Island Filipino Farmers Association arose.
The celebration of the new association was held in Tokoroa late last year.
‘‘I could see that there were Filipinos in Tokoroa and it’s surroundings.’’
She said there are about 200 in the South Waikato and about 2000 in the Waikato.
And by visiting the district, it gave her a better idea of the Filipino population, she said.
‘‘I got to hear exactly how they are developing and how they can contribute.’’
Mayor Neil Sinclair was pleased Tokoroa had been put on the map saying it recognised ‘‘our central location’’.
CULTURAL EXCHANGE: South Waikato District Council mayor Neil Sinclair forms a stronger bond with the Filipino ambassador Virgina Bernavidez as the mobile consulate passes through Tokoroa.