New Zealand’s Story of Welcome

This profile highlights the early years of the Welcoming Communities initiative, run by Immigration New Zealand. The events and activities described took place between 2017-2020.


New Zealand continues to inspire the welcoming ecosystem. Between 2017-2019 Welcoming International supported Immigration New Zealand as it designed and implemented the Welcoming Communities initiative across 10 councils. Welcoming Communities is now working to expand its reach to half the councils in New Zealand.

“By 2023 we aim to have an additional 30 councils from around New Zealand as part of the Welcoming Communities network. This will mean that more than half of the country’s councils are intentionally welcoming and inclusive. This has a potential to be transformative.”

June Rout – Immigration New Zealand

“Councillors and staff are now actively talking about the need to look at new policies ‘through a community and diversity lens’ – this didn’t happen before [Welcoming Communities].”

Interim Report – Welcoming Communities

“I went to the Welcome and Community Advisory Group meetings, where I met Stephanie again. She asked me if I wanted to get involved with organizing a large-scale Diwali celebration. I was happy to get involved, because since my arrival in New Zealand in 2013 I felt there was no one else to celebrate it with except for my partner. In India it’s a huge public event and we missed it.”

PriyankaCommunity Volunteer at the Palmerston North City Council


Additional resources


Welcoming Poster


Final Evaluation Report

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