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Big welcome for new communities

Published: 1 November 2022

Last Updated: 17 November 2022


Napier City Council is putting its hand up - and opening its arms wide - to welcome recent migrants, international students and the extended families of new residents to New Zealand.

The Council has joined a growing number of local councils in becoming an official member of the Welcoming Communities programme run by Immigration New Zealand.

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise believes strongly in the central ambition of the programme, which is to create thriving regions and inclusive local communities.

“We are really committed to doing everything we can as a city to be a place that is very welcoming to newcomers. Inclusivity and diversity make a city brighter, stronger and more resilient, and we’re looking forward to improving what we already do and adding to our offering here in Napier.”

Napier has secured a grant from Immigration New Zealand to appoint a programme coordinator for a three-year term to explore and implement opportunities to improve the experience of new Napier residents from overseas.

Immigration New Zealand is pleased to see Napier City Council join the programme.

Fiona Whiteridge, Immigration New Zealand’s General Manager of Refugee and Migrant Services, is thrilled to see the continuing enthusiasm from local councils like Napier City to being part of Welcoming Communities.

“This programme is an incredibly important tool for building strong and integrated communities, for making newcomers, no matter their background, feel included,” she says.

To date, a third of New Zealand councils are working with their communities to make the places they love more welcoming for everyone through the Welcoming Communities programme. Napier City Council and seven other councils across New Zealand are the newest members to join the Welcoming Communities family.

More on the accreditation programme:

Welcoming Communities supports councils and their communities to create welcoming environments for newcomers, specifically recent migrants, former refugees and international students.

The programme involves local residents in developing, delivering and participating in welcoming activities. This approach increases social engagement and provides opportunities to build social connections.

Immigration New Zealand provides funding, resources, accreditation, best practice information, networking opportunities, programme evaluation and guidance to participating councils.

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