Capital newcomers welcomed at Welly 101
NEWCOMERS TO WELLINGTON are not only welcome, they are encouraged to “settle, find work and stay”, according to Wellington City Council strategy advisor Nelson Sheridan.
This message came through clearly in the council’s inaugural information seminar, Welly 101, held recently at Te Papa.
Most of the 100 people at the event had been in Wellington for less than a year.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown welcomed seminar attendees to the “coolest little capital in the world”, noting that she herself was an import from the UK.
She says Wellington is becoming more well-known overseas thanks to its burgeoning film industry.
“When I go overseas I say, ‘this is where The Hobbit was made, this is where the Lord of the Rings was made, this is where Avatar was made, this is where District 9 was made; so it’s not just Peter Jackson’s films’,” she says.
The seminar was the initiative of the council’s settlement support strategy committee.
“We are more a point of contact,” Mr Sheridan says. “We refer newcomers to service providers.”
Service providers such as the Wellington Employees Chamber of Commerce, New Zealand Police, Healthcare New Zealand and Volunteer Wellington gave brief overviews of who they are and how they can help.
“We have given out information before, but this is the first seminar we’ve done.” says Mr Sheridan.
Mother and son Rajee and Chetan Peesapati from India say the seminar was very useful.
“We had been living in Auckland for eight months, but then went back to India for a year as we weren’t sure if we wanted to stay in New Zealand,” says Mrs Peesapati.
“Then my husband got an IT job in Wellington, so here we are.”
Chetan has just started a computer science degree at Victoria University.
“It’s all new and a bit hard to find my way around, but I’ll get there,” he says.
Becky Jia (pictured at top) from Northern China also found the seminar very useful.
She is working part-time but looking for fulltime work, and hoping Wellington winters will not be as long as the six-month ones back in China.