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About Us


Andreja Phillips

Hello photo

Kia ora, my name is Andreja Phillips, I am the National Manager of the New Zealand Newcomers Network.

I am of Slovenian ethnic origin, grew up in Switzerland and moved to New Zealand in my early twenties. I have completed a Masters in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Zurich and have been fortunate to gather many work experiences related to the field of migration, settlement social cohesion and inclusion.

I am passionate about working for and advocating on behalf of newcomers – whether migrants to New Zealand or people moving to new places in New Zealand more generally. Finding a sense of belonging, participating in the new community, making friends – all these things are difficult but so important when moving to new to a place.

My role is to ensure that the New Zealand Newcomers Network is a vibrant and sustainable organisation and that the regional networks that work with us feel supported and empowered. I greatly respect the work the regional network coordinators do and it is a privilege to be able to work with them and support them. And, I love stories about experiences newcomers have with us and through us, so if you have something to share please email me.

I am also the person to contact if you would like to talk about New Zealand Newcomers Network’s vision and mission or if you would like to set up a network in your area. I will help you get started!

Just send me an email and I will make contact with you!

Why have a Newcomers Network?

Over recent years, New Zealand has become home to an increasingly diverse range of people and communities from different cultures. Many of these new settlers are migrants seeking new opportunities in New Zealand, while others are refugees who, for different reasons, are unable to remain in their homelands. For anyone settling into a new country, there are the immediate concerns to contend with – finding a home, a job and schools for your children. Beyond these initial imperatives, there are ongoing challenges such as making new friends, understanding the language, accents and different ways of your new country and finding the confidence and support for a migrant to maintain and enjoy their own culture in their new setting. It is for these reasons that Newcomers Networks were established.

In 2004 Family & Community Services Ministry of Social Development established Settling In, an initiative to help migrants settle successfully in New Zealand.

In the 2005 ‘Settling In Nelson-Tasman report’ isolation and settling into a new community and making friends were three of the issues identified. To address this problem the first Settling In supported Newcomers Network was set up under the auspices of the Nelson Multicultural Council in 2006. Members loved it and the idea spread.

Where are there Newcomers Networks?

As of May 2016 there are Newcomers Networks in just under 40 locations – Whangarei, Hibiscus Coast, Albany, Kaipatiki, Auckland, East Auckland, West Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Paeroa, Morrinsville, Hamilton, Manawatu, Western Bay of Plenty, Katikati, Rotorua, Wellington, Hutt Valley, Nelson, Motueka, Blenheim, Picton, Westport, Greymouth/Reefton, Hokitika, Rangiora, Christchurch, Sumner, Rolleston, Leeston, Mid Canterbury, Timaru/Aoraki, Geraldine, Waimate, Waitaki, Cromwell, Dunedin, Eastern Southland, and the Chatham Islands, with more planned around the country in the future.

Who runs the local Newcomers Networks?

<nznn-15-coordinators> Each Newcomers Network works in the way that is best for the location. Some Networks are run totally by volunteers, while others operate as part of the services provided by another organisation, such as a multicultural council. All Networks use the services of volunteers in some capacity, for example to manage the enquiries and membership or to organise particular activities.

All of the Networks are supported by Settling In, an initiative of the Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC). This support includes the provision of generic resources (posters and brochures) and the services of the National Coordinator. The National Coordinator will provide advice, access to IT support and opportunities to share information, challenges and successes.

How do I join a Network?

NZ Newcomers helps you meet new friendsAnyone is welcome to join regardless of age, nationality or language spoken. Check the New Zealand map on our home page which details the regions that have Newcomer Networks. Choose your region & click on the ‘Join us for Free’ link.

Once you have joined, you will be added to our database & will receive regular information about activities & events. You can also LIKE your local Newcomers Network on Facebook. Joining your local network gives you access to information but nothing is compulsory, just join in as you feel ready, willing & able!

How can we get a Newcomers Network in our area?

If there is no Network in your area go to the Region page, choose your region then click on the link to send an email to the National Newcomers Network Coordinator to show your interest in either setting up or helping to set up a network in your area.

How can I help support a Newcomers Network?

The Newcomers Networks are thriving around New Zealand because of the contributions and goodwill of volunteers who want to welcome newcomers into their communities. We are always on the lookout for people who would like to help out in some way – either by running an activity, helping with administration and fundraising or coming up with good ideas. If you are keen to volunteer or support your local Network in some way, please get in touch with your local coordinator through the Regional page on this website.

NZNN Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Read our Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020