Hastings District Council has joined Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) Welcoming Communities programme that helps local councils create welcoming and inclusive environments for newcomers.
Hastings is one of three new councils and regions to join (along with Tasman District Council and Nelson District Council), and this follows a further six councils who joined last year.
That brings it to 18 Councils and their associated regions across New Zealand that are now part of the Welcoming Communities family.
Immigration New Zealand general manager of refugee and migrant services Fiona Whiteridge is happy to see the continuing enthusiasm from local councils and communities for being part of Welcoming Communities.
“This programme is an incredibly important tool for building strong and integrated communities, for making newcomers, no matter their background, feel included,” she says.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says she’s delighted to be joining Welcoming Communities.
“New arrivals from varying ethnicities and cultures further enrich our region’s already vibrant community. The programme also provides a pathway for everyone to get meaningful opportunities to celebrate and share their culture.
“I want the Hastings district to be a place where everybody is respected and accepted, a place where diversity is celebrated and our whole community benefits. We look forward to fostering a closer relationship with the Welcoming Communities partners and ensuring that all newcomers are proud to call Hastings home,” Mrs Hazlehurst says.
INZ will now work with Hastings and the other councils to help them meet the standards required to achieve formal Welcoming Communities accreditation.
The announcement follows Hastings being the first council in the North Island to adopt a Multicultural Strategy, another commitment to making the district inclusive and accessible for all residents.
31 January 2022
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