Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Hui an important milestone in welcoming newcomers to Queenstown Lakes District

Over 130 people attended a Welcoming Communities Hui at Queenstown Event Centre last Thursday 9 June.


Over 130 people attended a Welcoming Communities Hui at Queenstown Event Centre last Thursday (9 June) including iwi, newcomer group representatives, and key stakeholder managers and leaders along with Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) elected members and staff.

The group came together to listen, learn about and share ways to support newcomers to feel welcome and able to participate in the economic, civic, cultural and social life of the district.

QLDC Welcoming Communities Coordinator Silvia Dancose thanked all the wonderful folk who made time to take part.

“It was fabulous to see people come together to mingle and get to know each other, from our migrant community group leaders to organisations like Red Cross and NZ Police. The positive energy and willingness to connect, along with the support for the Welcoming Communities programme itself made for a very special evening,” she said.

Local kaumātua Darren Rewi opened the hui with a karakia followed by a welcome from Mayor Jim Boult and presentations from Immigration New Zealand and QLDC. The group broke for kai before settling into world café-style group discussions around the eight outcome areas of the Welcoming Communities initiative. These include how to support new residents from elsewhere in Aotearoa New Zealand and across the world with business and employment, civic engagement and participation, creating welcoming public spaces, equitable access to services, culture and identity and welcoming communications.

Mayor Boult was thrilled to see such a high turnout and to formally recognise QLDC’s commitment to the Welcoming Communities Programme.

“I’ve long said that the richness and diversity of our communities are our strength. To see so many ethnicities that share a passion for this district join together in one room to share ideas and experiences was a reflection of how true that is,” he said.  

QLDC Community Partnerships Manager Marie Day said the hui marked an important stepping stone in the Welcoming Communities Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori local programme.

“The ideas gathered from this event will feed into an initial community stocktake, which will include considerations such as how council services can better meet the needs of everyone in our community and how we can improve connections. It is a joint initiative, working with our communities to develop a Welcome Plan that reflects the unique characteristics of our place,” she said.

Silvia also highlighted the hui being a great opportunity to launch a Māori, Pasifika and Newcomer Profile booklet, another component of the Welcoming Communities programme.

“I was very proud to present our first edition of a collection of profiles, showcasing the cultural diversity that adds character to our community. I’m delighted to share this work with the 21 community groups we collaborated with over the past three months and with our wider community,” she said.

“These profiles offer a snapshot of each group, providing an insight to how each was established and operates, their membership, and all the wonderful events and activities they’re involved in. There are also details on how to connect with each group and find out more information.”

“We encourage those in the wider community to reach out to discover more, make connections and welcome newcomers to the district we share,” Silvia said.

Anyone keen to take a look at the booklet can visit the Council’s website at www.qldc.govt.nz/welcoming-communities.


Media contact: communications@qldc.govt.nz or call 03 441 1802.

FURTHER INFORMATION | Kā pāroko tāpiri:

List of organisations that attended the Welcoming Communities Hui

Central Lakes Family Services

Wakatipu Presbyterian Church – Global Community

Wakatipu High School

Southern Wellbeing Trust

Salvation Army

Shaping our Future

Happiness House

Immigration New Zealand

Business South (Regional Business Partners)

Ministry of Social Development

Citizens Advice Bureau

Southern Institute of Technology Queenstown

New Zealand Police

Turn Up The Music

Millbrook Resort

Queenstown Baha'i Community

Youth With a Mission (YWAM)

Checkin NZ

The Tuia Programme (Mayors Taskforce)

NZ Red Cross

English Language Partners NZ

Engage Safety

Southern District Health Board

Kuma Southern Māori Business Network

Lightfoot Initiative

Mana Tāhuna Charitable Trust

Queenstown Resort College/Study Queenstown

Wakatipu Youth Trust


Te Atamira

Chinese Methodist Church


Ngā Manu Hou o Whakatipu

The Kiwi Kit Community Trust

Queenstown Association of Migrant Pinoys Inc.

Latinos for New Zealand

Central Otago Tongan Community

Queenstown Fijian Community Trust

Bhartiya Samaj Queenstown

Czech and Slovak Club Queenstown

Queenstown Malaysian/Singaporean/Bruneian Group

Queenstown Nepalese Community

Japanese Family Society of Queenstown

Queenstown Islamic Centre

Korean Association of Queenstown

Chinese Community Queenstown Lakes

Ikatan Masyarakat Indonesia di Queenstown 

Maz Islamic Education Centre

Queenstown Indian Community

Sri Lankan Association Queenstown

Multi-Ethnic Dunedin Council/Arasan NZ Trust

South African Representative

Pasifika Representatives

Queenstown Lakes District Council and Elected Members