We love living in Central Otago and are always looking for new and different ways to make newcomers feel welcome in this amazing place. The dramatic landscape and colourful seasons draw people from around the world, but what keeps us here is the connection we have with the land and each other.
We believe communities that make newcomers feel welcome are likely to enjoy better social outcomes, greater social cohesion and stronger economic growth. Building connections between locals and newcomers means everyone feels included and knows they belong.
“We are proud to be one of the first councils in Otago to roll out this programme, which will enable Council to work alongside and support local community groups already working hard to put the proverbial ‘welcome mat’ out.”– Central Otago District Council Mayor Tim Cadogan (excerpt from 1 July 2021 media release: CODC joins Welcoming Communities programme)
We’re pleased to welcome Deborah Beange on board as our Welcoming Communities Officer. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
More about the programme
In the News
- Nau mai haere mai, Talofa to seasonal staff - News - News - The Central App
- Increase in RSE workers welcomed - News - News - The Central App
- From Seoul to Central - a move for the soul - News - News - The Central App
- Alexandra Newcomers Network reinvigorated - News - News - The Central App
- Inaugural cultural festival hailed as ‘exciting’ success | The News
- Cultural connections made at South Asian Festival - News - News - The Central App
- Community event shares cultural diversity | Otago Daily Times Online News (odt.co.nz)
- Volunteers needed for South Asian Cultural Festival - News - News - The Central App
- One in five newcomers struggles for acceptance in Central | Crux - Local News - Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell.
- Employers making workers welcome - News - News - The Central App
- Unrivalled lifestyle pulling people to Central - News - News - The Central App
- Newcomer Survey highlights areas to build on
- A helping hand for new leaders - News - News - The Central App
- Cromwell entrepreneur building network through scholarship - News - News - The Central App
- Central Otago District Council committed to Welcoming Communities programme (The Central APP, 17 December 2021)
- Council committed to Welcoming Communities (14 December 2021)
- Operation Cromwell Harvest - Welcoming harvesters to our community (Cromwell and Districts News, 2 November 2021)
- Sports Night to welcome seasonal workers - Cromwell & Districts News (Cromwell and Districts News, 2 November 2021)
- 'Climb and Connect' with your community this weekend (The Central APP, 9 November 2021)
Welcoming Communities supported Operation Cromwell Harvest's first social gathering for the season at Cromwell on Wednesday 8 December with the Welcome BBQ and Sports Evening for seasonal staff. About 30 staff attended from a wide range of orchards in the area.
Following on from this launch event, there was a pool party on Thursday 20 January at the Cromwell Pool. Unfortunately the next event, a picnic night with music and games on the McNulty House lawn on Melmore Terrace in the Old Cromwell Precinct on Friday 25 February, had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. But keep an eye on the CODC (and Operation Cromwell Harvest) Facebook pages for news.
And we've got our Hidden Gems for Newcomers up and running. We're developing a list of our favourite places to visit around the district - tracks, dams, rivers and picnic spots. We'd welcome anyone's ideas to add to the list.
2022-2023 Upcoming events
Alexandra-Clyde Newcomers Group Wine Tasting and Bike Ride
Sunday 27 November 2pm-4pm
Meet 2pm Dunstan Road Netball Courts OR
Meet 2.30pm Dunstan Road Vineyard
473 Dunstan Road, Alexandra
RSVP: email@example.com by 25 November
Alexandra-Clyde Newcomers Group Newcomer Family Picnic
Saturday 28 January 11.30am-1pm
Pioneer Park, Alexandra
BYO blanket, picnic lunch and a dessert to share.
2022 events so far
Welcoming Communities together with Neighbourhood Support was involved with Neighbours Day Aotearoa 18-27 March 2022, the theme being recipe sharing. Read all about it in this story on the Central App. See the latest on the Council's news pages, and again on Central App.
Neighbours Day article in the 12 May The News: Great recipe for Neighbours Day | Central Otago News (thenews.co.nz)
In March-April, we carried out a Welcoming Communities Newcomer Survey for those new to town to share their experiences of of coming to a new place, and we'll be reporting on the outcome soon.
Central Otago Newcomer Leadership Scholarship
This was a call out to future leaders involved in business, not for profit organisations or community groups, to apply for a Business South scholarship to further their skills. Applications closed 25 April. More news to come in this space. Read all about it: A helping hand for new leaders - Central Otago District Council (codc.govt.nz)
Congratulations to our first winner in 2022, Emily Walters of EzyConsents in Cromwell. Read more:
Welcome Workshops - with inclusive communities expert Fi McKay, which were held at various locations throughout the district: Welcome Workshops - 5-7 July 2022
See our Community Priorities document that is a compilation of the action items identified at the Welcome Workshops.
Coffee with a Cop - held Thursday 21 July 2022 10.30am-12noon at the Centrepoint carpark, Alexandra. This is an informal chance to chat with our Police.
Cromwell Community Expo - held Sunday 7 August 2022
Welcoming Communities was pleased to be supporting the Cromwell Community Expo, led by two of our Welcoming Communities Advisory Group members, Sharon Smid, Newcomers Network and Glen Christiansen at The Gate in Cromwell. Sharon and Glen saw the need for helping those new to town to get involved by providing a one-stop-shop to showcase all the different clubs, groups and volunteer opportunities that are on offer in Cromwell.
There is so much going on in Cromwell, but sometimes it’s hard to find out about it. We hope to hold more of these so come get involved by booking a space for your group or coming along with a friend to find new ways to get involved in your community.
Alexandra South Asian Cultural Festival
Held at the Alexandra Community Centre, Skird Street (by the library) on Saturday 27 August from 2pm-6pm
Supporting our partners
Cromwell Newcomers Network - Pause for Translation initiative
Seasonal workers polish cookery skills | Otago Daily Times Online News (odt.co.nz) - Vakameasina, which translates to "treasures we carry together", is an education and development programme for recognised seasonal employer (RSE) workers, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) under the New Zealand Aid Programme.
Other useful links and information:
- Centralotagonz.com (the place to find out more if you are visiting or moving to Central Otago to enrich your experience)
- The Central App (a handy online site and smartphone app for new and community info from Central Otago)
- ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) 8-week courses are available from Central REAP Education. Adult and Community Education Categories - COREAP
- Central Otago Creative Wellbeing Programme
Free weekly art classes funded by ARTSENTA .
Wanaka Community Hub: Tuesday 2 – 4.30pm
Cromwell Arts and Crafts Centre: Wednesday 2- 4.30pm
Alexandra Community House: Thursday 2 – 4.30pm
The programme will operate under red traffic light settings.