The Welcoming Communities Standard

At the heart of the programme is the Welcoming Communities Standard (the standard) which provides councils and community stakeholders with a benchmark for what a successful welcoming community looks like.

The standard is made up of eight outcome areas important to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.

The communities, councils and agencies involved in Welcoming Communities developed the standard together. Earlier this year, we asked the New Zealand public for their views on the standard.

We would like to thank the wider range of agencies and individuals who provided feedback. Your comments informed the final changes to the standard.

Read the Welcoming Communities Standard PDF 2MB

The standard enables the councils piloting the programme to:

  • benchmark their policies, services, programmes and activities, especially those relating to cultural diversity and settlement
  • identify where and how further efforts could be directed through their Welcoming Plan activities
  • assess progress over time
  • seek accreditation as a ‘Welcoming Community’.

The eight elements of the standard and their outcomes are:

1. Inclusive Leadership

Local government, tangata whenua and other community leaders work together to create, advocate for and continue to foster a welcoming and inclusive community. They lead a shared plan to increase connections between newcomers and existing residents.

2. Welcoming Communications

People of all cultures and backgrounds feel included, listened to and well informed through a range of ways that take into account their different communication needs.

3. Equitable Access

Opportunities to access services and activities and to participate in the community are available to all, including newcomers.

4. Connected and Inclusive Communities

People feel safe in their identity and that they are connected with and belong in the community. There are high levels of trust and understanding between members of the receiving community and newcomers.

5. Economic Development, Business and Employment

Communities maximise and harness the economic development opportunities that newcomers can offer. Councils work with business associations to promote the contribution that newcomer business owners and skilled migrants make to the region’s economy.

6. Civic Engagement and Participation

Newcomers feel welcome to fully participate in the community. Newcomers are active in all forms of civic participation.

7. Welcoming Public Spaces

Newcomers and receiving communities feel welcome in and comfortable using public spaces.

8. Culture and Identity

There is a shared sense of pride in being part of a culturally rich and vibrant community. People feel their culture is respected and valued by other members of the community. There are opportunities to learn about each other’s cultures.

Developing your Welcome Plan

Putting out the Welcome Mat is a resource for communities piloting the programme to use as they develop Welcoming Plans. It is also a resource for others who want to make their communities more welcoming.

The resource includes:

  • case studies of welcoming activities already under way in New Zealand
  • welcoming activity ideas
  • examples of welcoming activities
  • Helpful links to additional sources of information.

Putting out the Welcome Mat PDF 2MB