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About Us

Who We Are

The Hakatere Multi Cultural Council is a registered charity and NGO, running three programmes in the Ashburton district: Newcomers Network, Migrant Centre and Ethnic Leaders Forum.

With these programmes, our goal is to support the development of the Hakatere/Ashburton community in its diversity, assisting newcomers and migrants to settle, participate and integrate into community life, while maintaining their own sense of cultural identity that is seen, heard and celebrated.

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What We Do

For information about our events and workshops, visit our social media or get in touch with our Coordinator.

We have weekly salsa lessons (every Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm please get in touch as the venue can change)

Weekly parents' group in collaboration with Plunket.

Monthly cooking classes.

Fortnightly gatherings for mums and babies from 0 to 5 years at the Ashburton Art Gallery.

Family events

Movie nights

Craft workshops

Cultural Awareness Workshops in collaboration with Volunteering Mid and South Canterbury.

Educational talks (about employment, immigration, housing, emergency services, etc).

Support cultural and sports events and activities.

Talks to members of service groups and other groups in the community.

We provide a variety of information and are a contact point for migrants and newcomers to enrol with a GP, enrol children in school, open a bank account, request an IRD number, support with any legal process and navigation of any other New Zealand system.


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 in a new country, there are immediate concerns to contend with – finding a home, a job and schools for your children. Beyond these initial fundamentals, there are ongoing challenges such as making new friends, understanding the language, accents and different ways of the new country and finding the confidence and support to maintain and enjoy your culture in a foreign place.

The Ashburton district has a relatively small population spread over a large area with some unique challenges in regard to migrants. According to 2018 census, around 20% of the people in the district said they were born overseas.

The Hakatere Multi-Cultural Council was founded over 22 years ago under the name "Mid Canterbury Newcomers Network". Initially a volunteer group, it became an incorporated society and a charity in 2010, with funding from the MSD’s "Settling In” programme, and later funded by various local trusts and community organisations.


To connect newcomers and migrants with other people in our community.

Proudly sponsored by

The Lion Foundation, Lotteries Community Grants, Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury, Community Organisation Grants Scheme, Advance Ashburton Community Foundation - Tindall Foundation, Ministry for Ethnic Communities, Creative  New Zealand, and the Ashburton District Council


Key Members

President: Selwyn Price

Coordinator: Mercedes Walkham

Secretary/Treasurer: Rae Magson



Member Area

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