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Porirua commits to community inclusiveness

Welcoming Community-11

Ngāti Toa kaumatua Dr Taku Parai and Porirua Mayor Anita Baker sign the statement of commitment.

Porirua City Council signed a statement of commitment this week to confirm the city’s desire to achieve better outcomes and build stronger connections with new residents.

A signing ceremony took place on Thursday in Mayor Anita Baker’s office, attended by representatives from a number of Porirua’s migrant communities, Immigration New Zealand (INZ), and iwi Ngāti Toa.

According to the 2018 Census, nearly 14 per cent of the city’s population is from Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Latin America – this does not include some of the 26 per cent of the Pacific population who may identify as migrants.

Signing the commitment, and being part of the INZ-led Welcoming Communities Programme, helps us better understand, review and improve the way we serve our refugee, migrant and ethnic communities, Mayor Baker says.

Promoting cultural events and having these communities involved in areas like civil defence, annual and long-term plans, and economic development, is crucial, she says.

“We have already established strong relationships with groups in Porirua, but signing this commitment affirms that we want everyone in our city to be engaged and live healthy, happy and productive lives here.

“We are an example of city that has the power of unity in diversity, as we can embrace our differences and use it to create strength. These differences are our greatest asset, because creativity and coming together makes our communities stronger.

“As shown by our recent wonderful Waitangi Day, we want to celebrate inclusiveness and welcome new faces to our neighbourhoods. I’m proud to see Council sign this statement of commitment.”

The national Welcoming Communities Programme was established in 2017 to support councils and their communities to create welcoming environments for newcomers, with many councils across the country joining. Porirua City Council officially became a member in January 2023.

16 Feb 2024