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Hamilton Kirikiriroa is now recognised as a Committed Community under Immigration New Zealand’s Welcoming Communities Te Waharoa ki ngaa Hapori programme.

This follows the Welcoming Plan launch and commitment signing event held in April 2022.

The initiative aims to help recent migrants, former refugees, international students, and anyone new to our city feel more supported and included.

Along with 10 other councils, Hamilton City Council has achieved the first of four stages of accreditation and is one step closer to becoming a fully accredited Excelling Welcoming Community.

This comes as Council approves a budget of $75,000 through our (2022/23) Annual Plan to enable our community groups to help deliver our Welcoming Plan. This funding will go towards helping groups who would like to offer support in welcoming people into their local community. It’s aimed at supporting new initiatives over and above what is already being provided.

There’s been a lot of hard mahi going on behind the scenes between Council and partner community groups, said Councillor Kesh Naidoo-Rauf.

“Our Community and Social Development team have put a huge amount of effort into building up and maintaining positive, genuine connections with different ethnic communities in Hamilton and providing migrants with tools and resources to help them settle into their new home.”

“There are so many diverse and interesting communities in Hamilton, and this step towards being a fully recognised Welcoming Community is an exciting milestone and vital step to make sure Hamilton Kirikiriroa continues thriving far into the future.”

Mayor Paula Southgate said she was delighted the city’s plan has been recognised at a national level.

“I really look forward to continuing this work.”

Hamilton Kirikiriroa is incredibly diverse, with more than 160 ethnicities represented in our community.

Over 46,000 Hamiltonians – more than 27% of the city’s population – was born overseas, according to results from the latest Census. The city has been a resettlement centre for refugees since 2005, with around 1300 now calling Hamilton home.

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