Thursday, 10 March 2022

QLDC achieves accreditation as a Committed Welcoming Community

QLDC is one of 14 councils currently involved in the programme, joining two others at Stage 1 and seven at Stage 2.


Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has become one of just ten local councils nationwide to achieve accreditation under Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) Welcoming Communities Waharoa ki ngā Hapori programme.

QLDC Welcoming Communities Coordinator Silvia Dancose said it’s an important milestone on the district’s journey to creating an environment where all residents can thrive and feel a sense of belonging.

“I’m very proud that our district has reached the first of four stages that make up the programme’s accreditation – Committed, Established, Advanced and Excelling. As a Committed Welcoming Community, INZ has recognised that our district values newcomers and is committed to building a welcoming and inclusive community,” she said.

“Even though we have always attracted a diverse population from all corners of the world there is so much more we can do to embrace and celebrate this diversity as we progress to other stages of accreditation.”

QLDC formally joined the programme last year, holding small ceremonies in Queenstown and Wānaka in November which also acknowledged local residents who had recently become New Zealand citizens.

“Since then we’ve held an online hui with full participation from our newcomer groups, and later this month we’ll be inviting expressions of interest to be part of a Welcoming Communities Advisory Group. This group will help guide the creation of a Welcoming Plan for the whole district,” said Ms. Dancose.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult welcomed the accreditation, saying the programme will help foster strong connections and celebrate the variety of ethnicities that makes this part of Aotearoa New Zealand so special.

“Our participation in Welcoming Communities ticks so many boxes in terms of our vision to be a unique place with an inspiring future, especially the principles of thriving people, opportunities for all and pride in sharing our places,” he said.

“I have to admit I was initially surprised, but delighted, to learn there are 18 established newcomer groups already operating in our district. I’m aiming to meet with all of the ethnic community leaders personally in the coming months to continue building our relationships and support them in terms of making their voices heard and their contributions respected and valued.”

“In the meantime I would encourage anyone new to our district or originally from another part of the world to reach out to Silvia. They can be assured of a warm welcome,” said Mayor Boult.

QLDC is one of 14 councils currently involved in the Welcoming Communities programme, joining two others at Stage 1 and seven at Stage 2. Four member councils are yet to progress to accreditation.


Media contact: or call 03 441 1802.


  • Representatives from the following groups were invited to attend the Welcoming Communities Multicultural Community Leaders Online Hui on 16 February:
  • Bhartiya Samaj Queenstown

  • Brasileiros em Queenstown

  • Chinese Community Group

  • Czech Community Group

  • Ikatan Masyarakat Indonesia Queenstown

  • Japanese Family Society of Queenstown

  • Korean Association of Queenstown

  • Lakes District Multicultural Council

  • Latino Community Group

  • Maz Islamic Education Centre

  • Pasifika Community Group

  • Queenstown Association of Migrant Pinoys Inc.

  • Queenstown Fijian Community Trust

  • Queenstown Indian Community

  • Queenstown Islamic Centre.

  • Queenstown Malaysian/Singaporean/Bruneian Group

  • Queenstown Nepalese Community

  • Sri Lankan Association Queenstown

  • The Kiwi Kit Community Trust.