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Feedback on draft multicultural strategy sought

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

In recognition of Hastings’ increasingly diverse community the Hastings District Council has instigated a draft Multicultural Strategy on which it is currently seeking feedback. The strategy is only the second to be developed by a local council and is the first in the North Island.

The vision behind the strategy is that "Hastings district is an inclusive, welcoming community where everyone belongs."

More than 17 per cent of people in the Hastings district were born outside New Zealand, and since 2018 a working group made up of elected members and community representatives has been working on the strategy that aims to ensure all residents feel able to access council services and participate in decision making.

Last year the working group sought ideas from the community and stakeholders on what they think should happen - these have been included and Council is seeking feedback before it is finalised.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said council wanted Hastings to be a place where everybody is respected and accepted, a place where diversity is celebrated and the whole community benefits.

"We celebrate our cultural diversity in a range of ways, from our regular citizenship ceremonies for our new Hastings citizens to the hugely popular International Cultures Day held at Cornwall Park every year.

"This Multicultural Strategy has been developed to help us strengthen the support for our diverse community and its different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds."

As well as setting out the goals of the strategy, the document includes actions such as creating a cultural calendar of events in Hastings, developing a database of cultural group contacts to facilitate communication between Council and the community, creating and promoting public art that reflects diversity and developing a welcome pack with key information about Hastings district for newcomers.

Once the feedback has been received a final strategy will be presented to Hastings District Council for adoption.

The feedback period opens on Monday, July 13 and closes on July 27.

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