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Welcoming newcomers to the region

Monday, May 21, 2018

Welcoming Communities Coordinator Haidee Kalira (centre) with Payal Raj (right) from the Indian community and Gary Southon from United Nations Association at the workshop in the Bethlehem Baptist Church this month.

A plan for welcoming newcomers to the Western Bay and Tauranga began to take shape this month with local organisations and community groups sharing ideas for helping people settle well in their new home.

Hosted by Welcoming Communities Tauranga and Western Bay, two workshops were attended by a cross-section of groups including Volunteering BOP, Sport Bay of Plenty, Multicultural Tauranga, NZ Police, Rural Woman NZ, education providers, funders, school representatives and staff from Western Bay and Tauranga councils.

Western Bay and Tauranga have been chosen to run a two-year pilot for Welcoming Communities with the aim of creating an inclusive and welcoming region in which newcomers from all cultural backgrounds can settle.

Welcoming Communities Co-ordinator Haidee Kalirai says the workshops were the first step to building a community network for Welcoming Communities to deliver activities for newcomers.

"It was a great start toward developing a local Welcoming Plan. This was an opportunity to share initiatives that welcome and support the inclusion of newcomers in the community – and celebrate all the great work that already exists in our communities,'' says Haidee.

"There are lots of people doing great things in our communities and the workshops enabled attendees to share ideas as to how we could collaborate on future projects and to look at where we can do more.''

Welcoming Communities is an initiative of Immigration New Zealand to bring together local councils and communities to ensure a hospitable, friendly and welcoming place for newcomers.

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