On 11 July, the Office of Ethnic Communities attended the launch of Ashburton District Council’s Welcoming Plan Whakatau mai ki te rōhe o Hakatere.

The Welcoming Plan was created to encourage local communities to take a greater leadership role in helping newcomers to settle in their new home. The activities are structured around Immigration New Zealand’s standard for welcoming communities focusing on: inclusive leadership; welcoming communications; equitable access; connected and inclusive communities; economic development; business and employment; civic engagement and participation; welcoming public spaces; and culture and identity.

Ashburton is a fast-growing rural district which has experienced a population increase of 22% since 2006. Along with the population growth, Ashburton has also become more diverse. At the launch of the Welcoming Plan, Mayor Donna Favel stressed Ashburton District Council’s commitment to "foster an environment of acceptance and inclusion and create a sense of belonging for all".

For more information check out the Welcoming Communities Canterbury website.

The Office of Ethnic Communities has been a proud partner and supporter of the Welcoming Communities pilot.

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