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Most of us have experienced being new to a place, whether it’s a new city, neighbourhood, school, or workplace. We know what it’s like to belong somewhere - because we know how it feels to not belong. For many newcomers to this country, the feeling of 'not belonging' can last a long time.
In addition to our beautiful landscapes, Aotearoa is known for being friendly, open and hospitable.
But being truly welcoming means building on these qualities by going the extra mile, making sure everyone in our community is included and valued for the person they are and the unique talents they bring. It’s how we whakamana (uplift and uphold the authority and dignity of individuals), by learning about others, sharing our stories and inviting people to bring all aspects of themselves to every space.
Welcoming is something each of us can be. We can choose to show up and reach out. Especially for those newest in our communities, it means we are willing to extend our friendships, open up our circles and make room for others. Because in Aotearoa, we don’t welcome once — we welcome always.
No matter what language you speak, who you worship or where you were born - we’re glad you’re here!