Thirst quenching initiative to welcome the community at Multi Cultural Bite

If a cold brew is your cup of tea, there’s no better place to be than the Welcoming Communities stall at Multi Cultural Bite.

Welcoming Communities will be introduced to the community at the popular cultural event on Waitangi Day with a free iced tea stand to help locals become better connected with Ashburton’s steadily growing newcomers’ ​community.

Ashburton and Selwyn District Councils have been chosen as one of five areas across the country to pilot Welcoming Communities; a two-year programme initiated by Immigration New Zealand. The campaign is designed to support local councils and their communities to become even more welcoming to newcomers – whether they have moved from overseas or are former refugees, international students, or even Kiwis returning from overseas or relocating from elsewhere in New Zealand.

Welcoming Communities encourages locals to lead welcoming activities, such as shared workplace morning teas, potluck lunches, or simply inviting your neighbour over for a cuppa.

“Sharing a cuppa with someone is the universal sign of hospitality across the globe. It’s so simple, but it can mean the world to someone new to the community. Welcoming newcomers through sharing everyday activities helps build strong community connections that have social, economic and cultural benefits for everyone,” Ashburton District Council’s Community Relations Manager Vincie Billante says.

The annual Multi Cultural Bite event is a celebration of cultural diversity, where people from different backgrounds prepare and share food from their home country. New Zealand company Chanui has jumped on board to provide tea at the Welcoming Communities stall and visitors will be able to have their photo taken with a giant polaroid frame and tea set.

“It’s a privilege to be asked to pilot the Welcoming Communities programme, because it recognises how welcoming we are in Ashburton. We pride ourselves on being friendly, open, and good hosts to the new members of our community, but there is always more we can do.”

Community workshops will be run in March for everyone in the district to have their say in developing a local welcoming plan.​

More information, including the workshop dates, can be found on www.welcomingcommunitiescanterbury.com or on Facebook, @WelcomingCommunitiesAshburtonDistrict ​

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Page reviewed: 02 Feb 2018 5:12pm