One-stop shop for newcomers to the Ashburton District

Published: 15 May 2024

Newcomers to the Ashburton District can now find all the essential information they need in a new online Welcoming Guide.

Council Democracy and Engagement Group Manager Toni Durham said the guide was for people moving to the district from other parts of New Zealand or from overseas.

“Being digital, the guide can be updated regularly and it will also be available in different languages.

“Newcomers will be able to find out about health, education, driver’s licences, employment,  sports, things to do and services that are available.  It’s pretty much a one-stop shop for information.”

Mrs Durham said the Welcoming Guide could also point people to other helpful sites, like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and their community directory, and the Hakatere Multicultural Council, which looks after the Newcomers Network, the Migrant Centre and Ethnic Leaders forum.

“This is the first digital guide we’ve developed and it is work that was led by Welcoming Communities. We talked with community organisations, newcomers, migrant groups and employers and they all said it would be great to have essential information all in the one place.”

The Welcoming Guide can be accessed through Council’s home page (, and by clicking the New Here? button.

The Welcoming Communities advisor will be visiting schools, employers, medical centres community and government agencies to share posters and pamphlets for their newcomers. These materials have a QR code and the link where people can access the guide and save it as a favourite webpage.

“If people have problems accessing the site, they can email us on and we will send them the link directly,” Mrs Durham said.

Council is part of the Welcoming Communities programme, led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and as part of the programme, Council works with newcomers and the district in general to develop the tools needed to make the settlement process as smooth as possible.

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