Building strong connections with newcomers is the aim of Marlborough’s Welcoming Communities programme.
Recently its statement of commitment was signed by Mayor Nadine Taylor and Chief Executive Mark Wheeler, as well as iwi representatives Turi Hippolite, Pou Whakahaere of Ngati Koata, Corey Hebberd, Kaiwhakahaere Matua of Rangitane, Rawiri Faulker, Pou Toa Matarau of Ngati Toa Rangatira, and Matilde Tayawa Figuracion, chair of the Marlborough Multicultural Centre.
The signing of the statement is the final step in achieving stage one accreditation as a committed ‘Welcoming Community.”
Accreditation involves an assessment of efforts to include and welcome newcomers – recent migrants, former refugees and international students. Accredited communities can then showcase their achievements to the world with pride.
Welcoming Communities is a programme led by Immigration New Zealand in partnership with the Ministry of Ethnic Communities and Human Rights Commission.
It works towards healthier, happier and more productive communities by welcoming newcomers into the local community, Marlborough Welcoming Communities Coordinator Heather Barnes said.
“Communities that make newcomers feel welcome are likely to enjoy better social connections and stronger economic growth,” she said. “In a welcoming environment everyone is able to more fully participate in the economic, civic and social life of the community.”