Mo­bile con­sulate in town

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

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.

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