From 2017-2019, Immigration New Zealand – a New Zealand government agency – ran the Welcoming Communities pilot program across 10 councils nationwide. In 2018 Welcoming Communities New Zealand became part of the Welcoming International network as a founding member.
In 2019, following a positive evaluation of the program, the New Zealand Government approved funding to expand Welcoming Communities across the country. Over the next four years it is expected an additional 30 councils will join the national network. This means more than half of the country’s councils will be welcoming and inclusive.