Wel­come plan tak­ing shape

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

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 steps 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.

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.

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