09 Feb 2017

A new strategy has been adopted to embrace Christchurch’s status as a diverse and multicultural city.

The Christchurch Multicultural Strategy 2017-2021 “Our Future Together” was adopted by the Christchurch City Council at a meeting today. 

People playing at the beach.

New Brighton's Kite Day brings people from all walks of life together.

In June 2015 the Community Housing and Economic Development Committee resolved to establish a Multicultural Working Party to produce a strategy.The document will help the Council respond to the changing face of the city’s population. It sets a number of goals and actions that will help all residents feel they belong and are welcome here.

Public consultation on the strategy opened in June last year and the final version was developed in partnership with mana whenua.

Council Community Support Team Manager Claire Phillips said the strategy was a huge step forward. "It's a great opportunity to embrace and acknowledge the diversity factor in Christchurch and it shows that as a city we recognise the economic, social and cultural benefits that being a diverse city brings us."

It also demonstrated the council's commitment to providing services that are "inclusive, accessible and appropriate to the needs of different people".

She is proud the Council has produced the document in partnership with the community and mana whenua - Ngai Tahu.

The Council will, in consultation with the community, work to develop a five-year implementation plan for the strategy and produce an annual diversity and inclusion report to measure and report on progress achieving its aims.

Goals and priority actions in the strategy include ensuring all residents are able to participate in Council decision-making, informing the wider community about the value of diversity in Christchurch, and advocating for the needs of diverse communities.

Chair of the Council’s Multicultural Working Party Councillor Jimmy Chen said Christchurch’s population of 370,000 is made up of people from various backgrounds and ethnicities. “We are all different and have experienced our own journeys, yet we are all united because we have chosen to make Otautahi/Christchurch our home. It has been a privilege to lead the development of a Multicultural Strategy. 

'We all want to live in an environment where we can thrive.' - Cr Jimmy Chen, Chair of the Multicultural Working Party.

“We all want to live in an environment where we can thrive, and to have fair and equitable access to what Christchurch has to offer.”

Cr Chen said since the earthquakes the number of people moving to Christchurch from other parts of the world had increased significantly. In 2015 22 per cent of Christchurch residents were born overseas.

"This document is a commitment by the Council to provide a framework and a set of goals and actions to ensure every single person in Christchurch feels a sense of belonging. It also gives every person in Christchurch an equal opportunity to access Council services and information and to participate in the decision-making process.''