The Selwyn district has been experiencing extraordinary population growth for several years. This was accelerated by the Canterbury earthquakes, with people moving from Christchurch, along with people arriving from overseas to live in Selwyn and contribute to the Christchurch rebuild. The Selwyn population in 2000 was 27,600 and is now predicted to grow to over 79,000 by 2028.

In November 2015, Selwyn District Council adopted its Newcomers and Migrants Strategy [PDF, 1330 KB] after undertaking research and working with a mix of key local community groups and agencies. The Strategy sets the direction and aims to address the needs of people new to the district so that they can settle well and call Selwyn their home.

In 2017, the Selwyn and Ashburton District Councils were chosen to take part in a two year pilot programme call Welcoming Communities. The programme is an initiative of Immigration New Zealand involving nine local councils in five regions across New Zealand. While previous settlement initiatives have focused primarily on supporting newcomers, this new approach creates bridges between the members of the receiving community and newcomers.

In March 2020, Selwyn District Council gained accreditation as a Welcoming Community. The Council was among the first in New Zealand to be accredited as a Welcoming Community by Immigration New Zealand and is looking at more ways to welcome new migrants to the region over the year.

One part of the programme is for each council and community to produce a Welcoming Plan  [PDF, 10722 KB] that outlines what action is needed to meet the Welcoming Communities Standard, a benchmark for what a successful welcoming community looks like. The Selwyn Welcoming Plan should be read alongside the Strategy document.

Some of the cornerstone newcomer and migrant programmes that council have launched as part of the Newcomers and Migrants Strategy and Welcoming Plan include:

Meet your Street

Meet Your Street is an initiative developed by Council to support local community gatherings. Whether you’d like to run a mid-winter Christmas party, a street summer sports competition or a New Years' get together with your neighbours, we currently have funding available and are offering a subsidy of up to $75 per street gathering through our Meet Your Street funding.

Throughout the summer months, Council also runs street BBQ's for new communities. So be sure to keep an eye out for an invitation in your letter box!

Selwyn, From The Land

Selwyn, From The Land is promotes places to eat, adventure activities and accommodation experiences across the district. Learn about unique artisan products made from the land, walking and biking tracks from mountains to sea and the best places to camp in Selwyn. It’s all right here in your backyard!

Selwyn Business Directory

The Selwyn Business Directory is an online tool where you have the ability to look up local business in your area. They Directory has a key word search and mapping system to help find what you're looking for.

Faces of Selwyn

The Selwyn District Council and the University of Canterbury School of Journalism have drawn together stories of residents, from new arrivals to those whose stories go back over a hundred years. Through these stories and those that are to come in the future we hope to celebrate the diversity of our district and the things we have in common as the many Faces of Selwyn.

Checkout the link above to find out more about the Faces off Selwyn.

Do you have any questions or something you would like to tell us regarding the migrants and newcomers in Selwyn? If so, please give us a call on 0800 SELWYN, or email