Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is congratulating 10 local councils and their communities for their success in implementing the Welcoming Communities programme.
This includes Gore District Council, Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council and Environment Southland who are among the first in New Zealand to be accredited as Committed Welcoming Communities
Accreditation formally recognises that the councils and their communities’ value newcomers, and are committed to building welcoming and inclusive communities. It also gives them access to further funding, support and advice to continue their Welcoming Communities work.
Fiona Whiteridge, Immigration New Zealand’s General Manager of Refugee and Migrant Services, says the recognition is well deserved. She commends the communities for their efforts and the crucial role they’ve played in the programme’s design.
“They have shown a commitment to creating an inclusive environment where all residents can thrive and belong. We’re delighted to accredit them as Committed Welcoming Communities, we look forward to further supporting their work.”
And the programme’s participants say Welcoming Communities is proving successful.
Great South Chief Executive Ann Lockhart says through involvement in the Welcoming Communities pilot, Southland has been able to strengthen its approach to attracting newcomers to the region and broaden cultural understanding and awareness in the community.
“For Southland, this pilot is helping to develop a sense of pride in being part of a culturally rich and vibrant community where all cultures are respected and valued and is giving newcomers the chance to learn more about who we are as Southlanders and the place they now call home.”
Meanwhile, the Welcoming Communities programme will be extended to other councils and communities around the country over the next four years.
Information supplied by Immigration New Zealand