Our Publications, News and Resources

Keep up to date with the latest news on our involvement with the Welcoming Communities programme. If you're keen to learn more, check out the useful resources below. 

Our publications

Here we share the work we have developed with the support and input from our local communities.

Welcoming Communities Hui - Actions to support a Welcoming Network

In February and March 2023, three hui were held across the district as part of our pre-community engagement to help inform the Welcoming Plan 2023/26.  A summary of proposed actions to support the development of a Welcoming Network in Queenstown Lakes was gathered from the Māori, Pasifika, Newcomer Groups hui held on 28 February in Queenstown and two Support Services Agencies hui held on 28 February in Queenstown and 17 March in Wānaka.

Welcoming Communities Stocktake Report Summary

The Welcoming Communities Stocktake Report Summary is an assessment on how QLDC and the community are currently meeting the needs of newcomers to the district. It was created in August 2022 and provides a snapshot of what we’re currently doing well and opportunities for the future, across the outcomes of the Welcoming Communities programme.

Welcoming Communities Hui Feedback Summary - Whakatipu and Upper Clutha

We hosted a Welcoming Communities Hui for the Whakatipu (in June 2022) and the Upper Clutha (in November 2022). There was a fantastic turnout and the room was buzzing with wonderful kōrero  (conversations) from all our attendees including iwi, newcomer group representatives, community services managers and leaders, along with elected members and QLDC staff. The group came together to listen, learn and share ways to support newcomers feel welcome and able to participate in the economic, civic, cultural and social life of the district. Here we share a summary of the key ideas gathered from both these workshop discussions.

Māori, Pasifika and Newcomer Group Profiles

We are delighted to celebrate the Māori, Pasifika and Newcomer groups who have made the Queenstown Lakes District their home with a first edition of a collection of profiles. These offer a snapshot of each group, providing an insight to how each was established and operates, its membership, and all the wonderful events and activities it’s involved in. There are also details on how to connect with each group and find out more information.

Our Coordinators

  • Silvia Dancose is Canadian-born and comes from a mixed background; her father was French-Canadian and her mother was Mexican. She is fluent in French, Spanish and English.  Silvia moved to Hamilton, New Zealand in 2011 and has been living in Queenstown since December 2019.

    Her career pathway has led her to occupy many roles in the NGO sector working alongside and advocating for newcomers, migrants and refugees. In Canada, she worked at the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, a national centre of expertise in support of the national standards in English and French language proficiency in immigration, education, workplace and community settings. 

    In New Zealand, she worked for nearly 9 years for New Zealand Red Cross in the areas of settlement and employment of refugee background persons. One of her most recent roles was Regional Manager in Central Otago for Red Cross Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri in 2020, a COVID-19 relief programme funded by DIA aiming at supporting temporary visa holders facing hardship.

    Silvia describes herself having a natural inclination to connect with people from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. Her upbringing has a lot to do with the fact that she lived in many developing countries as a child and teenager because of her father’s work. She is passionate about diversity, inclusion and equity and considers them as integral parts of any welcoming community. By taking a gentle approach to demystify these concepts in practice and celebrating what’s already diversely rich and socially cohesive, Queenstown Lakes can become even more welcoming.

    Silvia has recently completed a Certificate in Intercultural Studies to complement her Post-Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and bachelor’s degree in Education. Silvia lives with her Kiwi partner and has two young adult children, one currently studying and living in Canada.

  • Hemi Cordell was born in Auckland and was raised in the occupied Palestinian territories, Bangladesh, England, and India. Hemi returned to New Zealand in 2018 with his partner, Catrin, and has resided in Wānaka since returning home. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in international development at Massey University, he brings a wealth of experience from his work in the social and community development sector.

    Hemi’s skills in team building, management, and project coordination are poised to make a meaningful impact in his new role. While you may have crossed paths with him during his time with Wānaka Wastebusters and Kahu Youth, his commitment to community service extends beyond professional roles, as exemplified by his role as a Volunteer Firefighter alongside acting as the UFBA (United Fire Brigades Association) representative for the Wānaka Fire Brigade.

    Excited to apply his academic insights and passion for community development in a professional setting, Hemi looks forward to contributing to our team’s success. His diverse experiences and genuine commitment to social well-being make him a valuable addition to our organisation.


Contact us

If you have any questions about Welcoming Communities or want to get involved, please contact the Welcoming Communities Coordinators for Queenstown Lakes District Council, Silvia Dancose or Hemi Cordell for Wānaka-Upper Clutha.

TEL: 027 772 0138