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Council joins the Welcoming Communities programme

July 05, 2021

New communities and Councils join the Welcoming Communities programme.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is announcing new members to the Welcoming Communities programme.

Three new Councils and regions are joining the programme designed to create inclusive environments where all residents can thrive and belong.

The Rangitīkei District Council, the Queenstown Lakes District Council, and the Central Otago District are the new additions to the programme. Their involvement follows the Hamilton City Council, the Horowhenua District Council, and the Masterton District Council joining the initiative earlier this year.

It means there are now 16 Councils and 11 regions across New Zealand that are part of Welcoming Communities.

Fiona Whiteridge, Immigration New Zealand’s General Manager of Refugee and Migrant Services, says it’s great to have the new participants on board.

“This is the second time this year we’ve been able to announce new regions joining the Welcoming Communities programme. It’s great to see more and more councils taking part in a programme that’s an important tool in making communities stronger and improving social cohesion. Welcoming Communities are stronger communities, and that’s a win for all involved”.

Meanwhile, Rangitīkei District Council Mayor, Andy Watson, says his Council is excited about joining the Welcoming Communities.

“We are currently experiencing unprecedented growth in our district, and as a council, we understand that when we work hard in partnership with others to make our newcomers and residents feel welcomed and valued, the whole community benefits”, he says.

Mr Watson says the Council and community already work together in a number of joint projects aimed at making newcomers feel welcome and are looking forward to taking this further and into the framework of Welcoming Communities.

“We want all our people, both newcomers and longstanding residents, to feel like they belong and are active participants in our community’s economy (including the social economy) civic and social life”, he says.

The next steps will see INZ work with the new participants to help them meet the standards required to achieve formal Welcoming Communities accreditation. You can find out more about this and the support provided on the INZ website.

Welcoming Communities

For further information:
Contact the MBIE media line on 0274 422 141 or email media@mbie.govt.nz
Contact the Rangitīkei District Council on or email nardia.gower@rangitikei.govt.nz

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