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 on YouTube - Welcoming Communities

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

Ashburton opens garden to help welcome migrant population - RNZ

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  - 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 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

Welcome to Gore - Welcome pack PDF 4MB

More information

Welcoming Communities — Southland PDF 4MB

Tauranga / Western Bay of Plenty — an Established Welcoming Community

Tauranga: Ethnic women learning to swim in council-funded initiative - Bay of Plenty Times

Global Ambassadors programme continues for another year after successful pilot - NZ Herald

Workers lead Solomon Island Language Week celebrations in the Bay of Plenty - NZ Herald

Local Focus: Latin Expo helps migrants to Tauranga ‘break down the barriers’ - NZ Herald

Katikati welcomes RSE workers with pōwhiri - NZ Herald

It feels like we belong here - SunLive

Te Puke hosts creative writing course for migrants - Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Tauranga/Western Bay Global Ambassadors programme - Priority One

Te Puke Sikh parade brings its colour to town - NZ Herald

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

Student stories - 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

Food, love and dancing: Diwali festival lights up The Square - Stuff

Exhibition captures journey of immigrants who made Palmerston North home - Stuff

Carnaval brings colour and culture to Palmerston North city centre - Stuff

Palmerston North communities converge to mark World Refugee Day - Stuff

Multicultural youth council formed to brighten Palmerston North's spectrum - Stuff

Bicultural welcome for many cultures in Palmerston North - Stuff

Manawatū Afghan community shares experiences through 'really special' exhibition - Stuff

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 international relations - 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

City Welcome and Information Session - Stuff Events

Ethkick Football Tournament celebrates its 10th anniversary - Stuff

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

Welcome Pack 2022 - Palmerston North PDF 2MB


Horowhenua rolls out the welcome mat - Manawatū Standard

Hamilton - a Committed Welcoming Community

Hamilton officially a welcoming community - Hamilton City Council

Shaping a welcoming City - Our Hamilton

Rangitīkei - a Committed Welcoming Community

Council joins the Welcoming Communities programme - Rangitīkei District Council

Queenstown Lakes - a Committed Welcoming Community

Queenstown Lakes welcomes our new communities - Queenstown Lakes District Council

Queenstown Lakes Welcomes Our New Communities - Scoop

QLDC recognises Welcoming Communities programme - Queenstown Lakes District Council

QLDC achieves accreditation as a Committed Welcoming Community - Queenstown Lakes District Council

Local champions invited to join Welcoming Communities Advisory Group - Queenstown Lakes District Council

Hui an important milestone in welcoming newcomers to Queenstown Lakes District - Queenstown Lakes District Council

Energy and enthusiasm’ at Welcoming Communities hui - Otago Daily Times Online News

Library calls for help with community project celebrating world languages - Queenstown Lakes District Council

Welcoming Communities Advisory Group works toward a shared vision - Queenstown Lakes District Council

Queenstown’s First Annual Subcontinental Community Cricket Festival - ISSU

Celebrating our Multicultural Community - ISSU

Football Fever Alive and Well – The Wanaka Sun

Football and a Feast – The Wanaka Sun

New group guides warm welcome for Upper Clutha newcomers - Crux - Local News - Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell

Queenstown Lakes Welcomes Our New Communities - Scoop

‘Energy and enthusiasm’ at Welcoming Communities hui - Otago Daily Times Online News

Central Otago - a Committed Welcoming Community

Nau mai haere mai, Talofa to seasonal staff - The Central App

‘Climb and Connect’ with your community this weekend - The Central App

Operation Cromwell Harvest - Welcoming harvesters to our community - Cromwell & Districts News

Sports Night to welcome seasonal workers - Cromwell & Districts News

Central Otago District Council committed to Welcoming Communities programme - The Central App

Wrapping up Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2022 - The Central App

Welcoming Communities - Let’s Talk Central Otago

Employers making workers welcome - The Central App

Unrivalled lifestyle pulling people to Central - The Central App

One in five newcomers struggles for acceptance in Central - Crux

A helping hand for new leaders - The Central App

Cromwell entrepreneur building network through scholarship - The Central App

Community event shares cultural diversity - Otago Daily Times Online News

Cultural connections made at South Asian Festival - The Central App

Inaugural cultural festival hailed as ‘exciting’ success - The News

Alexandra Newcomers Network reinvigorated - The Central App

More information

Welcoming Communities - Central Otago

Rotorua Lakes Council

Jump in enrolments for international students — Rotorua Lakes Council

Rotorua welcomes back international students — Rotorua Lakes Council

Rotorua Lakes Council commits to community inclusivity — Rotorua Lakes Council

Raj Seneviratne is Rotorua's new Welcoming Communities co-ordinator — NZ Herald

Special atmosphere at first Rotorua citizenship ceremony since July 2021 — NZ Herald

Hastings District Council

Samoa Independence Day celebrated in Hastings - Hastings District Council

Hawke’s Bay Sikh, Sri Lankan cultural celebrations spread colour, laughter and joy - NZ Herald

Diwali festival of lights in Hastings attracts crowd of close to 2000 - NZ Herald

Masterton District Council

Welcoming new citizens – Wairarapa Times-Age

Hindu festival a first for Wairarapa – Wairarapa Times-Age

Marlborough District Council

Making Marlborough feel like home - Marlborough District Council

Welcoming communities – Marlborough District Council

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