Welcoming Communities

Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori

We are proud to be a part of Welcoming Communities | Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori, a programme to support newcomers to feel welcome and able to participate in the economic, civic, cultural and social life of their new community.

About Welcoming Communities

The Welcoming Communities programme aims to make the district more welcoming for everyone. It focuses on achieving a Standard of eight elements which help benchmark what a welcoming and inclusive community looks like including:


Why did we join Welcoming Communities?

Over many decades, Queenstown Lakes has welcomed waves of migrants from different parts of the world, as well as from all over Aotearoa New Zealand, producing diverse and vibrant local communities.

In recent years, the rapid growth of our district has changed the makeup of our communities. The traditional terms of local, visitor and worker are no longer sufficient, as there is far more diversity and richness in the whakapapa of our district.

We recognise the importance of celebrating the broad range of people who have chosen to make this special place their home. Welcoming Communities will help Queenstown Lakes support equality and grow inclusive local communities so we can continue to evolve as a place that celebrates diversity.

Welcoming Communities will support all newcomers - migrants, refugees and international students - to the district, including Kiwis and long-established migrants relocating to our district.

How can we achieve a Welcoming Community?

Welcoming Communities | Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori is a joint initiative, working collaboratively with our communities to develop a Welcome Plan that reflects the unique characteristics of our place.

Ensuring everyone feels included and has a sense of belonging is vital for building a strong, resilient and vibrant community. The happiness and commitment of newcomers as part of the Queenstown Lakes community has a flow on effect to the experience visitors receive and the subsequent reputation of the district.

We’ll consult and partner with mana whenua Kāi Tahu and local Māori in development of the Welcome Plan, working together to create, advocate for, and continue to foster a welcoming and inclusive community.

This government funded programme will be rolled out over three years, since QLDC joined the programme in July 2021. It will be developed by QLDC and its communities for this district and supported by Immigration New Zealand in partnership with the Ministry for Ethnic Communities and the Human Rights Commission.