Bangladesh New Zealand Friendship Society (BNZFS) Inc. is committed to provide an advancement and assistance in prospects for Bangladeshis residing in New Zealand which fosters Bangladeshi culture, language and self-respect, provides a supportive environment to practice and develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary to uphold self-identity and to face the challenges of reality and to participate in a multi-cultural and ethnically diverse New Zealand society.
Bangladeshi nationals started arriving in New Zealand during the mid 1980′s initially on tourist visa and applied subsequently for residency on various grounds. In the early 1990′s the New Zealand immigration policy was changed in favour of overseas migrants which provided Bangladeshis with a better opportunity to migrate in New Zealand under general skilled category. With growing number of Bangladeshis in New Zealand, need for a representative body was felt to address various concerned issues. Mr Ataur Rahman, a Bangladeshi chartered accountant, along with other foresighted Bangladeshis took the initiative to re-organise Bangladeshi community and formed Bangladesh New Zealand Friendship Society (BNZFS) Inc. on 25 July 1991 on a non-partisan basis to represent Bangladeshis in New Zealand.
This organisation, more popularly known as the Society , has been advocating successfully issues that Bangladeshi migrants came across during their early process of settlement and residency. Under the immigration law at that time, Society also helped eligible Bangladeshis with the community sponsorships towards their immigration applications. Such venture of the Society was highly appreciated by the then Minister of Immigration, Mr Roger Maxwell, regards to useful support to the community and transparency of the transaction.
So far, Society ‘s uniqueness as an organisation and representations has heightened its status in the community and among the governmental and non-governmental organisations in New Zealand. With an approach of healthy cohesion and mutual respect, Society endorses a process and policy of promoting Bangladeshi culture and language locally along with necessary support to the community at all levels.
Society ‘s effective networking for the community has been appreciated both locally and internationally. Society values quality representations of its members and the Bangladeshi community as a whole. It also encourages and facilitates perticipation in the community activities and programmes in New Zealand . With due regards to the local statutes, Society endeavours to protect and enhance the community profile and to pursue with issues benefiting Bangladesh and Bangladeshis locally and globally.