About NZ Newcomers
Catering for an increasingly diverse range of people and communities
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.
"It is nice to meet new people and do a bit of socialising instead of job and house hunting. It is a brilliant idea and I am still interested in the activities."
How it started
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.
In December 2016 we joined Multicultural NZ. It has been great to be part of a much larger organisation, so we can continue to grow the Alliance and the connections and offer better support for newcomers to and in New Zealand.
Looking after NZ Newcomers Network
Manager of the NZ Newcomers Network Alliance
Kia ora, my name is Andreja Phillips, I am the Manager of the New Zealand Newcomers Network Alliance.
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 have also been a member of the Welcoming Communities Advisory Board recently while that work was happening.
I love working for and advocating on behalf of newcomers – whether these are 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 are part of the Alliance 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 email me and I will make contact with you.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
Register for free and get to know people in your new community.
Find people to socialise with, try new skills, sports or just enjoy a coffee with other newcomers. We know how it feels being new in a community.
START A BRANCH
If there isn’t a group in your town, why not start one?
Just send us an email & we’ll help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are there Newcomers Networks?
As of July 2019 there are Newcomers Networks in just under 40 locations all around New Zealand. (See the Map)
Who runs the local Newcomers Networks?
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 the NZ Newcomers Network National Manager. This support includes the provision of generic resources (posters and brochures), a free webpage, email account and other resources. The National Manager will provide advice, access to IT support and opportunities to share information, challenges and successes.
How do I join a Network?
Anyone 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’ link.
Once you have joined, you will be added to the membership 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 and connection with other newcomers - 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.