Our stories

Our Welcoming Communities stories shine a light on the innovative welcoming activities already underway as part of the Welcoming Communities programme. They can inspire and inform new initiatives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.

Who is involved

Ashburton — an Established Welcoming Community

A selection of Welcoming Communities stories.

Ashburton District accredited as an Established Welcoming Community — Ashburton District Council

Poster competition to celebrate World Refugee Day — Ashburton District Council

Webinar to provide information to newcomers — YouTube

Ashburton Global Ambassadors professional development programme — Welcoming Communities

Welcoming Workplaces in Ashburton — Welcoming Communities

Neighbours Day comes to life across the District — Ashburton District Council

Weird and Wonderful Ways to Waste Time map relaunched in Ashburton — Experience Mid Canterbury

Ashburton opens garden to help welcome migrant population — RNZ

Welcoming Communities futsal extravaganza

Multicultural Festive Walk - Facebook

Hakatere: A welcoming mural for Ashburton – Ashburton District Council

Hakatere: Home & Heritage exhibition – Ashburton District Council

More information

Welcoming Communities — Ashburton

Welcoming Plan - Ashburton PDF 10MB

Selwyn — a Committed Welcoming Community

A selection of Welcoming Communities stories.

Faces of Selwyn: Celebrating it's diversity — Selwyn District Council

Settling in Selwyn: This time we were crying happy tears – Selwyn District Council

A plan to help newcomers settle well and call Selwyn their home – Multicultural Times

More information

Welcoming Communities — Selwyn

Whanganui — an Established Welcoming Community

A selection of Welcoming Communities stories.

A Whanganui Welcome: Booklet for newcomers and residents — Whanganui District Council

Whanganui's annual Festival of Cultures

Whanganui rolls out the welcome mat — NZ Herald

New ways to welcome new residents — NZ Herald

More information

Welcoming Communities — Whanganui

Welcoming Plan - Whanganui PDF 10MB

Southland — an Established Welcoming Community

Southland's welcoming communities plan launched — Stuff

Southland selected to host Welcoming Communities pilot — Stuff

Southland Newcomer Leadership Scholarship – Southland Business Chamber

More information

Welcoming Communities — Southland

Welcoming Plan – Southland/Murihiku PDF 4MB

Invercargill — an Established Welcoming Community

Polyfest 10th anniversary event draws thousands — Otago Daily Times

Massive new mural symbolises changing face of Invercargill — TVNZ

Sports day helps international students feel 'at home' — Otago Daily Times

Celebrating India's Independence Day — Invercargill City Council [PDF 2.7MB, page 3]

Welcoming Communities in Southland gains momentum — Invercargill City Council [PDF 2MB]

Spanish Club – Invercargill Library

Southland Newcomer Leadership Scholarship – Southland Business Chamber

More information

Welcoming Plan – Southland/Murihiku PDF 4MB

Gore — an Established Welcoming Community

Southland Newcomer Leadership Scholarship – Southland Business Chamber

StoryWalk and Welcome Trail – The Ensign

More information

Welcoming Communities — Southland PDF 4MB

Tauranga / Western Bay of Plenty — an Established Welcoming Community

Board Intern Programme – Tauranga City Council

Community Development Match Fun — Tauranga City Council

Project to share stories of Tauranga’s diverse communities – The Incubator

This is Us waka project: He waka eke noa — The Incubator

The first Festival of Cultures in Katikati — Katikati Advertiser

Chinese festival to take over The Strand — SunLive

Newcomers to Te Puke welcomed with weekly morning teas — NZ Herald

A warm welcome to new international students in Tauranga — Education Tauranga 

Turban day comes to Tauranga — SunLive

Settling into a new city: the Welcoming Communities programme — SunLive

Migrant pōwhiri in Tauranga – NZ Herald

More information

Welcoming Communities — Tauranga / Western Bay of Plenty

Welcoming Plan – Tauranga/ Western Bay of Plenty PDF 4MB

Palmerston North — an Established Welcoming Community

Inclusive emergency response: a case study from New Zealand — Welcoming International

Latest Passport to Play challenge has a multicultural flavour — Stuff

Passport to Play Palmy booklet — Palmerston North City Council

Aung Myo wins the 2020 Refugee Achievement Award — English Language Partners New Zealand

Interview with Steph Velvin: Welcoming Communities Coordinator — Welcoming International

A Conversation with a Community Volunteer — Welcoming International

Diwali festival lights up Palmerston North – Stuff

Spotlight shines on Manawatū's past during Local History Week – Stuff

All welcome at Islam celebrations of Eid Adha – Stuff

Welcome Wall opened in the Palmerston North Central Library — Palmerston North City of Cultures Facebook

Palmerston North's Global Ambassadors – Palmerston North City Council

Palmerston North marks World Refugee Day with food and song – Stuff

Festival of Cultures turns Palmerston North into ethnic melting pot – Stuff

New Kiwis Club: Video — Canto

Isles Construction: Welcoming Employer: Video — Canto

Te Ahi Kaea: Video — Canto

Palmerston North: City of Cultures — Facebook

Welcome Packs ready for Palmy newcomers — Palmerston North City Council

City Welcome and Information Session – Stuff Events

Ethkick Football Tournament celebrates its 10th anniversary — Stuff

The annual First Voice book — stories by students in languages they speak at home

International students settling well in Palmerston North — Stuff

He Kupu Rangatira – The Proverb Pathway – Massey University

More information

Welcoming Communities — Palmerston North

Welcoming Plan – Palmerston North PDF 693KB


Horowhenua rolls out the welcome mat - Manawatū Standard


Hamilton officially a welcoming community - Hamilton City Council


Council joins the Welcoming Communities programme – Rangitīkei District Council

Queenstown Lakes

Queenstown Lakes Welcomes Our New Communities - Scoop

Central Otago

CODC joins Welcoming Communities programme

More information

Welcoming Communities — Central Otago

Welcoming Cities Australia

Aleem Ali, CEO for Welcoming Australia, talked to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment staff during his visit to New Zealand in 2018.

He spoke about the issues Australia faces in relation to migration and settlement, the challenges of attraction and retention in a global market, and how we can share learnings between Australia and New Zealand including in relation to New Zealand’s Welcoming Communities programme. Here is an edited 19 minute video of his presentation.

To see how Welcoming Cities is inspiring communities across Australia and encouraging new and innovative ways of welcoming, check out their resources.

Putting out the Welcome Mat