Upper Hutt Multicultural Council Incorporated - Settling In

Strength to strength - serving their community for 10 years

Celebrating Chinese New Year - 2015Settling In is proud to support the Upper Hutt Multicultural Council Incorporated as they mark their 10th anniversary since starting out as a small community group. In 2015 funding supported them to target ethnic communities in the Upper Hutt area using sports, programmes and other events. 

President Pancha Narayanan says, “Our beginnings are founded on working with communities to address issues of immigration and discrimination in New Zealand.” Pancha also goes on to say that, “Over the last 3 years the Council has made a conscious shift to focus on the safety of recent migrants and their families in their homes and community”. This, he adds gratefully, has been possible only due to the tireless volunteers and the growing relationships with the local community, the local Iwi, Manawhenua, Orongomai Marae and the Upper Hutt City Council.

Local Mayor Wayne Guppy as Patron for the Upper Hutt Multicultural Council has been very supportive of their work.  As a result, the Upper Hutt Multicultural Council has been able to work closely with the local Council and staff on a number of initiatives throughout the year. These range from receiving referrals of migrant and refugee families to the Upper Hutt Multicultural Council Settling In Coordinator, through to developing a regional settlement strategy, hosting discussions, and delivering forums. 

A signature event which started in 2006 is the Upper Hutt Multi Ethnic Soccer tournament. The tournament attracts up to 20 teams and in 2015 more than 1000 players, families, support workers and spectators have participated and enjoyed this event. The final matches and closing ceremony attracted a large gathering of the community from all over Wellington region. This event continues to create awareness and is a great way to display the skills and strengths of migrant and refugee communities. 

Dal & Dai demonstrating their signature dish - 2015Another key celebration for the Upper Hutt Multicultural Council is their Multicultural Festival. This festival of cultures is celebrated in conjunction with Race Unity Day. A total of 400 spectators, performers and support workers were involved in the 2015 event. It promoted families, tolerance, talent in the migrant and refugee communities and respect for one another’s culture. A highlight was a cooking demonstration by My Kitchen Rules Semi-finalists Dal & Dai demonstrating their signature dish, The Laotian Chicken Larb & Sticky Rice. 

From working with schools, running logo competitions, coordinating the local Newcomers Network, through to supporting new mothers and Chinese seniors groups, organising professional speech courses for migrants and refugees, and many other activities, it has been very busy times in the Upper Hutt! The Upper Hutt Multicultural Council have expressed sincere thanks to the Office of Ethnic Community for helping them with Settling In funding, a business mentor and community services support which help make this all possible.