Welcoming Communities

If you’re new to South Wairarapa, nau mai, haere mai – Welcome! Nau mai rā – we’re glad you’re here.

South Wairarapa District Council are committed to making our communities welcoming and inclusive for all people to live, work and thrive. We want our towns, countrysides and coasts to be warm, friendly places where people from all walks of life feel safe to connect, have fun and belong.

We are fortunate to have a lot of new people move here in recent years. Each person brings their unique experiences, culture, skills and perspectives. This brings incredible richness and diversity to our communities and if we help our new people settle in well, the whole community benefits. That’s why we’ve joined Welcoming Communities, a nationally-funded programme, to help us improve accessibility and inclusion for everyone who now calls South Wairarapa home.

Check out our Stock-take Report to find what we’ve learnt so far.

You can visit our Welcome to South Wairarapa page for information to help you settle in. You can also call, text or email our Welcoming Communities Coordinator, Michaela, on 027 444 3258 or welcomingcommunities@swdc.govt.nz to ask questions about your new community.

The Welcoming Plan will focus on:

1. Inclusive leadership

Local government, tangata whenua and other community leaders work together to create, advocate for and continue to foster a welcoming and inclusive community. They lead a shared plan to increase connections between newcomers and existing residents.

2. Welcoming communications

People of all cultures and backgrounds feel included, listened to and well informed through a range of ways that take into account their different communication needs.

3. Equitable access

Opportunities to access services and activities and to participate in the community are available to all, including newcomers.

4. Connected and inclusive communities

People feel safe in their identity and that they are connected with, and belong in, their community. There are high levels of trust and understanding between members of the receiving community and newcomers.

5. Economic development, business and employment

Communities maximise and harness the economic development opportunities that newcomers can offer. Councils work with business associations to promote the contribution that newcomer business owners and skilled migrants make to the region’s economy.

6. Civic engagement and participation

Newcomers feel welcome to fully participate in the community. Newcomers are active in all forms of civic participation.

7. Welcoming public spaces

Newcomers and receiving communities feel welcome in and comfortable using public spaces.

8. Culture and identity

There is a shared sense of pride in being part of a culturally rich and vibrant community. People feel their culture is respected and valued by other members of the community. There are opportunities to learn about each other’s cultures.

Want to get involved?

We would love to hear from you! There are many ways you can support this programme and our new community members.

To get involved in Welcoming Communities or to stay informed, you can contact the Welcoming Communities Coordinator, Michaela Lloyd, by phone on 027 444 3258 or email welcomingcommunities@swdc.govt.nz.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Welcoming Communities and why are we doing this?

Welcoming Communities is a settlement programme that supports local councils and their communities to create welcoming and inclusive environments for newcomers.

The programme aims to make everyone feel like they can belong, participate, contribute and thrive in their communities. It aims to increase social connections, cultural awareness and inclusion, which ultimately leads to many benefits for the community – from social and cultural benefits to the economic benefits of helping new people be productive in their communities.

Who are the newcomers

Newcomers, in this context, are new community members from overseas (recent migrants, former refugees, international students and returning citizens) and people relocating from other parts of the country.

I’m new to South Wairarapa. How can this programme help me?

Welcoming Communities is a three year programme and in time there will be many activities and initiatives that will support new people, such as yourself, to settle into our communities.

In the mean-time, if you would like to connect with someone who can help you settle in to your community and understand what services and activities are available to you, contact the Welcoming Communities Coordinator, Michaela Lloyd, to find out what’s available to you.

You can find more information about what’s happening in the Wairarapa at Destination Wairarapa.

How can I support new community members?

There are many ways you can help newcomers and the Welcoming Communities programme:

  • You can share your ideas and thoughts with the Coordinator
  • You can tell new people about Welcoming Communities and direct them to this page
  • You can create, or support, local cultural events that bring people together and celebrate inclusion

To chat about getting involved in the programme or to share your ideas and experiences, contact the Welcoming Communities Coordinator, Michaela Lloyd by phone on 027 444 3258 or email welcomingcommunities@swdc.govt.nz.

How is this funded?

South Wairarapa District Council has received funding for three years from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to employ a Welcoming Communities Coordinator to lead this programme. Additional funding to implement the Welcoming Plan and it’s associated activities will be organised through the usual Annual Plan and Long-Term Plan processes.


SWDC welcomed into Welcoming Communities Programme

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