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Welcoming Communities

Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori

In Ashburton District Council, we think it's important for new people in the district to feel welcomed because it helps our community in many ways. When newcomers feel they belong, it makes our society stronger, brings us closer together, and helps our economy grow.  Everyone gets to be a part of everything - working, being involved in the community, and socialising.

By connecting people who are new with those who have been here longer, we make sure everyone feels valued and part of the community.  That's why the Ashburton District Council is part of the Welcoming Communities programme.

​Get in touch with the Welcoming Communities Advisor if you need support, need more pamphlets or posters, have queries or feedback for this guide:

Newcomers Guide to Ashburton District

Click here to download a printable copy of the Newcomers Guide - PDF

Free services available in our community - Need Help Booklet

Click here to download the Need Help Booklet - PDF

Refer to the tiles below to find useful information.

Learn more

Ashburton District is a proudly multicultural district with approximately 18.6% of people born outside of Aotearoa New Zealand (2023 census).

About 81.1% of people are European/Pākehā, 8.6% Māori, 6.0% Pacific, 9.4% Asian, and 2.65% other ethnicities (people may identify with more than one ethnicity).

Over the last 10 years, there has been a growing migrant community from around the world who have chosen to make Ashburton District their home.

In 2018 the New Zealand Government announced that Ashburton District would join other centres across Aotearoa New Zealand as a refugee resettlement location. Ashburton welcomed the first group of former refugees from the Hazara region of Afghanistan in April 2021, who have had to flee conflict in their home country.

In 2020, the Ashburton District's commitment to helping newcomers feel more accepted and celebrated in the community was recognised with an accreditation from Immigration New Zealand.

The Council and community have become one of the first seven places in the country to be recognised as an Established Welcoming Community, the second stage of a four-level accreditation model.

The Established Welcoming Community status recognises the Ashburton District as having a Welcoming Plan in place, and partnerships with the community to promote and implement the programme. It also acknowledges that there is strong advisory, project management and monitoring arrangements in place.

Read more about the Welcoming Communities programme on Immigration New Zealand’s website.

This plan was developed in 2017 together with the community through the Welcoming Communities programme. The national Welcoming Communities Standard provides us with a benchmark for what a successful welcoming community looks like. It’s made up of eight elements important to creating a welcoming and inclusive district.

Read the Welcoming Communities Standard

Read the Ashburton District Welcoming Plan