Southland has been chosen as one of five regions throughout New Zealand to pilot the Welcoming Communities programme. Venture Southland will be coordinating the initiative in the region which will significantly contribute to Southland being considered a preferred place to live and work in.
The Welcoming Communities initiative has been developed in recognition that communities are healthier, happier and more productive when newcomers are welcomed and able to fully participate in the the local community. The programme encourages communities to build upon their capacity to value diversity by embracing new culture and traditions. This is achieved by communities changing their dialogue to be more welcoming so that newcomers are not expected to change their ways and potentially lose their sense of self.
This pilot will build upon Southland's strong sense of community and the services and networks already established to support those new to the region. It will also encourage councils to take a leadership role in supporting their communities to welcome newcomers through an accreditation process which will share good practice and ideas, foster collaboration and recognise success. The implementation of the pilot will also provide a boost towards Southland’s goal of attracting 10,000 more people by the year 2025.
The long term aim of the programme is for communities to benefit socially, economically and culturally. Southland has the capacity to embrace this programme which will enable shared prosperity and growth for everyone.
Welcoming Communities Standard
The Welcoming Communities Standard provides a benchmark for communities to aspire to and provides a basis for councils to be accredited as a ‘Welcoming Community’. Each council will lead the development of a Welcoming Plan in collaboration with community stakeholders. The Welcoming Plan will set out how new and existing local policies, programmes, initiatives and services will be developed or enhanced to support a welcoming environment.
Click here find out more about Immigration New Zealand's Welcoming Communities initiative