Upper Hutt joins Welcoming Communities

Published on 01 July 2022

Welcoming communities logo

A message from Immigration New Zealand (INZ)

INZ is delighted to announce Upper Hutt City Council among the latest group of councils to join the Welcoming Communities programme.

Eight new Councils are joining the Programme, designed to create inclusive environments where all residents can thrive and belong.

“We are grateful for the enthusiasm shown and the desire from Councils around the country to be part of such an important initiative that began five years ago,” says Fiona Whiteridge, General Manager of Refugee and Migrant Services INZ.

There are now 26 Councils taking part in the Welcoming Communities programme. Nationally thirty-eight per cent of city and district councils are now committed to making their communities more welcoming for everyone.

Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy says “We’re thrilled to be joining Welcoming Communities, demonstrating Upper Hutt’s ongoing commitment to multiculturalism, diversity and connectedness. As a city which is becoming more ethnically and culturally diverse, I’m proud that we’re respecting and embracing all backgrounds and saying that everyone is welcome. I’m fortunate to see the benefits of these efforts first-hand at community gatherings, cultural celebrations and at citizenship ceremonies.

It is important for us to be leaders in welcoming new members to our community. Alongside our partners, we’re looking forward to further enriching an environment that is welcoming and safe, and that everyone is proud to call Upper Hutt home.”

The other seven Councils joining the Programme this intake include Napier City, Rotorua Lakes District, South Wairarapa District, Westland District, Waitaki District, Marlborough District, and Hurunui District. Their involvement follows the three Councils that joined the programme in early 2022 – Nelson City, Tasman District, and Hastings District.

“This programme is an incredibly important tool for building strong and integrated communities, for making newcomers, no matter their background, feel included, so everyone can thrive,” says Ms Whiteridge.

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.