People in the Ashburton District are being encouraged to share their ideas to help make the community an even more welcoming place for newcomers, by attending community workshops being held throughout March.
Welcoming Communities, an Immigration NZ led programme, is being piloted in the Ashburton District and people from all walks of life are needed to help develop the district's Welcoming Plan.
"It's important that our community is able to help identify initiatives already in place, and contribute new ideas that can help make newcomers feel that they belong and are valued," Ashburton District Mayor Donna Favel says.
"These workshops are a chance for people to reflect on their experiences - whether that be as someone new to the community, or someone who has spent their whole life here. A welcoming community needs the people who live here to lead the way, and these workshops are a great opportunity for everyone to have their say on what can make us an even more inviting and connected community."
Council will be hosting the community workshops – facilitated by Paul 'Pup' Chamberlain, throughout this month. They will be hosted in Rakaia, Methven, Tinwald and Ashburton.
Numbers are limited for each workshop, and those wishing to attend are urged to register online by 6 March at www.welcomingcommunitiescanterbury.com/get-involved. Anyone unable to attend can complete an online survey which is also available on the website.
Welcoming Communities was introduced to the community at Multi Cultural Bite on Waitangi Day, where visitors to the stall were invited to share a cup of Chanui iced tea.
"We're encouraging people to share a cuppa with someone new. Sharing a cup of your favourite brew can help make others feel welcome and it's a great way to get to know someone new and learn about their culture.
"The next step is to look at more ways Ashburton can make newcomers feel part of the community, and that's why we need everyone's input at these workshops," Mayor Favel adds.
For more information about Welcoming Communities and how to get involved, visit www.welcomingcommunitiescanterbury.com and follow @WelcomingCommunitiesAshburtonDistrict on Facebook.