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Last modified: 17 Jan 2023 9:54am

A group of people talking while sharing food and drink, some seated some standingMore opportunities are being created for new migrants to connect with Selwyn communities.

The Waikirikiri Selwyn Welcoming Communities Network was set up as a part of Council’s commitment to the Ministry of Business’ Immigration and Employment Welcoming Communities Plan.

Selwyn is one of 27 councils participating in this plan, and was one of the four councils to pilot this initiative.

Thirteen people across several migrant and community groups attended the most recent event, organised by the network, at Lincoln Event Centre on December 14.

Key speakers included University of Canterbury Masters Student Jerome Wong Yit who discussed his research – in collaboration with the Council - on the wellbeing needs of the Filipino community in Rolleston and ways to support them better.

Hafsa Ahmed from Lady Khajida Trust spoke about her upcoming ethnic women’s leadership course, funded by the Ministry of Ethnic Communities, and speakers from Lincoln University discussed its work with international students and creating opportunities to connect with migrant communities.

Community and Economic Development advisor and host of the event, Kirstin Dingwall-Okoye says the focus of these events is to connect newcomer groups and services, share information and enable collaborations where the needs are most essential.

Ministry of Ethnic Communities’ strategic engagement and partnership advisor, Fay El Hanafy says she really enjoyed the chance to network at this event.

“Because Selwyn is my focus area, it’s important to network at these events and be involved with how we can make Selwyn a better place for migrant communities.”

In 2023, Council hopes to offer more of these networking opportunities for migrants in Selwyn, kicking off with a kai table and public opening of the Welcoming Communities funded plaque at Te Ara Ātea on Tuesday 14 February.

If you would like to join the Waikirikiri Selwyn Welcoming Communities Network please email