A warm welcome to our newest residents: Nau mai rā, glad you’re here!

Published on 28 August 2023

Our welcoming communities coordinator leads a large group of Palmy newcomers of all ages on a walking tour of the central city.

Palmerston North is gearing up for a series of engaging events to celebrate Welcoming Week 2023, which kicks off on Friday 1 September. Under the theme 'Nau mai rā, glad you're here,' this year's festivities are designed to showcase the warmth and inclusivity of Palmy and aim to make new residents feel right at home. 

Does your Palmy business want to show your support for Welcome Week?

On Monday 4 September, we'll be delivering stickers to local businesses that say "welcome" in some of the many languages spoken in Palmy. If you're interested in having a sticker in your front window, please get in touch with our welcoming communities coordinator. Email: somayyeh.ghaffari@pncc.govt.nz

Colourful sticker made up of the word

Welcoming Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures that make up Palmy, says Stephanie Velvin, Palmerston North City Council's community development manager.

“We’ve got more than 160 cultures here in Palmy, with more than 130 different languages spoken here. Each of these different cultures help make up the vibrant essence and shared identity of the city. No matter where you're from, what you believe, or what language you speak, one thing rings loud and clear – we're so glad you're here! So please come and join us at an official welcome.” 

A pōwhiri will be held at Te Manawa on Saturday 2 September at 10.30am. Everyone is welcome and there is no need to register. After the pōwhiri, there will be an opportunity to share some kai and meet one another, before taking a short walking tour around the city centre.   

“Palmy is known for being welcoming and friendly, and Welcoming Week is always a special time of celebration and unity. We are looking forward to meeting all our newest residents and showing them how awesome our community is.”  

Some of the other Welcoming Week activities include a potluck dinner with Manawatū Multicultural Council on Friday 8 September. This will take place from 6pm to 8pm at Youthspace.

Mrs Velvin says most of us have experienced being a newcomer at some point.  

“Whether you’ve moved to a different city, neighbourhood or started at a new school or job, there’s nothing better than when someone reaches out to you to help you feel like you belong.” 

This Welcoming Week is happening nationwide and is all about soaking in the cultural mix that makes Aotearoa so special. It's about being friendly, open, and welcoming – traits that Kiwis are famous for! 

Read more about our pōwhiri for newcomers