Eastern Bridge Consulting began in 2014 with a mission to help local governments foster their sister city bonds. Now, the company has grown, aiding various councils and their controlled entities in international relations and migrant engagement. We place a strong emphasis on economic growth by strategically managing global ties and connecting with migrants. We aim to boost community welfare by enhancing how local news and support services are shared with migrants, while also informing non-migrants about global matters. Feedback from the local government sector shapes our services, ensuring they meet community needs.
Introduced in 2014, our International Relations Service provides a practical solution for managing global ties. Clients can pay a set monthly fee, giving them access to a range of international relation management tools. This model provides our clients with an outsourced "Foreign Affairs office" without the expense of setting one up internally. During the initial phase, we understand the client's goals and craft a suitable management strategy. Many clients are interested in using the service to support economic development or community well-being. Common users of this service include local councils, iwi, economic development agencies, tourism promotion organisations, and business associations.
From 2017, Eastern Bridge has played a pivotal role in connecting councils with migrant communities. We offer various tools and strategies that help in communicating better with migrants groups. We are strong advocates for migrant friendly towns, and much of what we do fits within the Welcoming Communities framework. By collaborating with multiple multi-cultural and ethnic associations, the Ministry of Ethnic Communities, and other official bodies, we ensure a holistic approach. We have run various programs such as community orientation courses, work-readiness for migrants, and English courses for migrants and refugees.
Hongi is a dedicated news and information service for migrants, refugees, and international visitors in New Zealand. By providing daily news updates in ten languages, Hongi ensures that everyone can stay informed and connected. Beyond news, the platform offers invaluable migrant guides, becoming a go-to resource for many in the community. Hongi prioritises clear and easy-to-understand content, assisting migrants in seamlessly integrating and understanding their new environment. As a platform owned by the Hongi News & Information Foundation, a non-profit society, Hongi's commitment is purely to the welfare and information needs of its users. Being nonpolitical, the service ensures balanced and unbiased information, making it a trusted source about New Zealand
HongiCommunities serves as a dedicated space on the Hongi Platform tailored for local councils. This section provides essential details on services, facilities, bylaws, licensing, permits, and consents, ensuring that all community members can easily access and understand crucial information. Beyond administrative details, councils can also share vital community updates and official press releases. For those keen on promoting economic growth and tourism, there are dedicated sections to boost visibility and engagement. Moreover, in times of emergencies or health concerns, the civil defence segment ensures timely delivery of safety messages and critical updates. With a commitment to clear communication, HongiCommunities is an integral part of both our International Relations Service and Migrant Engagement Service, making it a vital tool for councils to connect and engage with their communities.
In 2017, we initiated the Migrant Survey, aiming to comprehend the unique challenges migrants and refugees in New Zealand face. This yearly survey encompasses 20 distinct regions across Aotearoa, studying migrants, migrant businesses, and international students. The 2022 edition saw participation from 15,666 respondents, making it New Zealand's most extensive survey of its type. The findings allow community leaders and councils to refine their migrant engagement tactics. Many insights from the survey have been seamlessly integrated into our Migrant Engagement services.
At Eastern Bridge, we believe in supporting prosperity in the regions we serve. Both our International Relations and Migrant Engagement services contribute to economic development. We actively help migrant entrepreneurs succeed, ensuring they can effectively communicate with our client councils. Moreover, we provide insights to migrants across New Zealand, spotlighting the advantages of relocating to your region – be it for their business or their valuable skill set. On the global front, we've aided clients in attracting foreign investment and international enterprises to set up operations in their regions. Additionally, Eastern Bridge Global Trade, founded in 2023, champions local industries by exporting New Zealand products to Asian and assisting companies with procurement. We're also proud investors in local firms, aiding them in enhancing their export prowess.
From 2015, Eastern Bridge initiated Asia Readiness training tailored for our council clients. Today, our educational wing, Eastern Bridge Education, has grown significantly, we have modern classroom facilities and comprehensive online courses. We've launched a variety of government-supported training initiatives, benefiting migrants, businesses, and council teams. Among the services we offer are ESOL and community orientation courses, and job-preparation and placement programs. Additionally, we offer micro-credentials to migrants at no cost. On the global front, Eastern Bridge actively recruits international students from multiple markets. We maintain our own network of overseas educational agents. Furthermore, we meticulously craft and manage holiday study programs, seamlessly blending educational and tourism experiances, which in-turn supports our client's economic development.
Eastern Bridge is committed to bridging communication gaps by offering services in a diverse array of languages. With the integration of AI, machine learning, and professional translators, we ensure accuracy and clarity. Our spectrum includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Tagalog, Arabic, and Russian. By covering these languages, we connect with speakers from New Zealand, Australia, and globally. Our dedication to multilingual support is pivotal in reaching wider communities, promoting effective communication and fostering understanding.