Newcomer Survey highlights areas to build on
The results of a recent survey of newcomers to Central Otago has provided Central Otago District Council’s Welcoming Communities programme with areas to build on.
A Newcomer Survey was conducted in March and April this year to gauge the experiences of those who were new to the district and help provide guidance for future Welcoming Communities activities.
Central Otago District Council joined Welcoming Communities in 2021, a national programme designed to create inclusive environments where all residents can thrive and feel they belong.
Ninety-five newcomers completed the survey. The results will help inform discussions at an upcoming series of Welcoming Workshops in July that aim to bring together a cross-section of people from the district to create a Welcome Plan to suit the unique needs of those new to Central Otago.
Key findings in the report include:
- The majority of newcomers came from a large city in New Zealand.
- Lifestyle was the most common reason cited for moving to Central Otago.
- The majority of respondents felt welcomed into the community.
- 28 per cent believed their community was accepting of different cultures and beliefs, 22 percent believed their community was not accepting of different cultures and beliefs, and 48 percent answered that they were unsure.
- Employers received high marks with 82 percent of those who work said they were likely to recommend their workplace. 97 percent said they felt respected by their work team either some or all of the time.
Welcoming Communities Officer Deborah Beange said overall there was “a lot of good news in the survey about how Central Otago welcomes its newcomers.”
“There are also some areas that require further introspection, particularly with regard to how we interact with those who are from our larger cities and those who bring with them different cultures and beliefs.
“The demographics of our communities are changing and this is challenging cultural norms. Embracing newcomers and sharing the Kiwi culture of friendliness, openness and acceptance will continue to make Central Otago a place where everyone calls home.”
Ms Beange encouraged all those who are interested in rolling out the welcome mat to newcomers to register for one of four workshops at: www.codc.govt.nz/welcomeworkshop by 4 July.
The facilitated workshops will be held in Roxburgh on Tuesday 5 July from 4.00-5.30pm at 103 The Store; in Alexandra on Wednesday 6 July from 5.30-7.30pm at Alexandra Library; in Ranfurly on Thursday 7 July 12.30-2.00pm at the Ranfurly Stadium clubrooms; and in Cromwell on Thursday 7 July from 5.30-7.30pm at Cromwell Library.
“Come, add your voice to a community ‘brainstorm’ as we we share ideas for ways we can help new residents feel truly at home here. Maybe you belong to a community group or sport clubs and want to attract new members, or you’re an educator who works with new families, or perhaps you are in business and want to attract and retain new employees. If you’re interested in creating an environment where newcomers want to work, live, and play then we welcome your input.”
The results of the recent survey can be viewed at: https://lets-talk.codc.govt.nz/welcoming-communities