Join Welcoming Communities

Councils and communities that would like to be part of the Welcoming Communities programme are invited to submit an expression of interest.

Immigration New Zealand is expanding the Welcoming Communities – Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori programme. The Government has approved funding for a nationwide rollout, following the success of the 2-year pilot.

Immigration New Zealand is looking to grow membership by up to 13 additional councils between now and July 2023.

We want to hear from councils that want to support their communities to be even more welcoming to newcomers – recent migrants, former refugees, international students or anyone new to the community.

Who can join

Welcoming Communities is open to any councils and communities that want to foster an inclusive environment where everyone can contribute and participate.

Councils should:

  • be clear about the benefits they see for newcomers and local residents, and be clear on why they want to join the Welcoming Communities programme
  • be able to show that the local council, in partnership with its community, is committed to participating in the programme
  • describe how they will partner with mana whenua to implement Welcoming Communities
  • have a successful track record of collaborating with local and national partners to implement other initiatives and programmes.

Submit an expression of interest

Immigration New Zealand would like to hear from councils and communities that want to find out more about Welcoming Communities or join the programme in 2022 or January 2023.

You do not have to be ready to come on board now to make contact. We are happy to have early, exploratory conversations or talk you through your expression of interest (EOI). We see this as the beginning of an ongoing, two-way conversation.

Councils and their communities can submit their expressions of interest at any time.

For councils wishing to join the programme in January 2023, we encourage you to submit an EOI form to Immigration New Zealand by Friday 11 November 2022. A panel will convene to consider all expressions of interest.

Expression of interest PDF 452KB

Before you complete the expression of interest form or have any questions, email Immigration New Zealand’s Welcoming Communities team:

More information

Welcoming Communities brings social, cultural, economic and civic benefits to the participating communities. It builds social inclusion through welcoming activities which increase social engagement and build social connections between newcomers and local residents.

Immigration New Zealand provides funding, accreditation, information, networking, programme evaluation and guidance to support councils to create places where everyone can belong.