News & Events

Palmerston North – the first New Zealand city to support international #WithRefugees campaign

Monday June 17 2019

Palmerston North is the first city in New Zealand to sign up to the Cities #WithRefugees campaign. It joins more than 200 cities from around the world which have signed up to this international campaign.

Photo shows Mayor with the President of Manawatu Refugee Voice in The Square.

Tammam Tamim President Manawatū Refugee Voice and Grant Smith.

The campaign is led by the United Nations Refugee Agency. Cities and local authorities working to promote inclusion and support to refugees have been encouraged to participate.

Palmerston North City Mayor Grant Smith signed the Cities #WithRefugees declaration and the city is hosting a World Refugee Day Celebration on 22 June at Barber Hall. Mayor Grant Smith says signing this declaration is a statement to the world that Palmerston North is proud to stand up for diversity and compassion.

“As part of the national Welcoming Communities pilot, Palmerston North has already made a commitment to ensuring all newcomers to our city are welcomed, feel supported and have the opportunity to thrive here. The Cities #WithRefugees declaration allows us to tell the world of our commitment.

“Palmerston North has been built on a long history of manākitanga and we recognise that intentionally welcoming refugees, with their diverse life experiences, is an opportunity for our city to be even more innovative, creative and resilient. Many former refugees have already resettled in our city, and we will continue to welcome refugees and their families to make Palmerston North their home.”

The World Refugee Day Celebration is to be hosted by Manawatū Refugee Voice, supported by Red Cross Palmerston North, the Palmerston North City Library, Welcoming Communities (Palmerston North City Council) and the Manawatū Multicultural Council.

The free event will feature performances, games, food and children’s activities and runs from 1pm to 4pm.

More information about #WithRefugees, including the declaration, is available on the UN Refugee Agency website