A warmer welcome: Christchurch’s initiative to support new residents

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jan 15, 2024 |


Christchurch is the latest city to join up to the “Welcoming Communities” programme.

This settlement initiative plays a vital role in aiding local councils and their communities to create more inclusive and welcoming environments for newcomers, including those returning to New Zealand or relocating from other parts of the country.

The Christchurch City Council’s inclusion comes on the heels of seven other Councils and five local community boards that have already embraced the programme.

The programme now boasts participation from 35 Councils, five local community boards, and their associated communities across New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand provides support such as funding, resources, accreditation, and best practice information.

INZ also facilitates networking opportunities, programme evaluation, and guidance to the participating councils.

Fiona Whiteridge, INZ’s General Manager of Refugee and Migrant Services said “It’s wonderful to have another region join our Welcoming Communities family.

“Witnessing an increasing number of councils embracing this program underscores its crucial role in strengthening communities and fostering social cohesion. Welcoming Communities are inherently stronger, and that’s positive for everyone involved.”

The commitment of Christchurch to this programme aligns perfectly with its Multicultural Strategy.

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger said “as Welcoming Communities continues to grow, it stands as a testament to New Zealand’s dedication to building stronger, more cohesive communities that celebrate diversity and offer a warm welcome to all.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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