Migrant support

Photo of three migrant women.

We welcome new migrants and value the rich contribution that newcomers make.

In Whangārei, there are several organisations and resources that can connect you with support networks, cultural groups and key services to make it easier for you to create your new life in Whangārei. 

Getting settled

The biggest challenge can be knowing where to find all the information to get settled. There are many organisations in Whangārei that can help.

Guide for newcomers

The Guide for Newcomers is a free 40-page booklet, which is co-created by migrants who have provided top tips throughout the booklet.

It is packed with information on a wide range of topics about Whangārei including:

  • support for new migrants
  • finding somewhere to live
  • getting started with a job, childcare and schools
  • health and wellbeing
  • getting around
  • suggested things to do in Whangārei
  • local tips and tricks

Download the guide below or contact us to get a printed copy.

Guide for Newcomers(PDF, 5MB)

Multicultural Whangārei

Multicultural Whangārei is a not-for-profit community-based organisation supporting migrants and newcomers to Whangārei with their settlement process.

It also promotes positive race relations through community education, social events and employment support ensuring people of all ethnicities feel able to actively contribute to their adopted community. 

Multicultural Whangārei (multiculturalwhangarei.co.nz)

Ministry for Ethnic Communities

The Ministry for Ethnic Communities is newly established in 2021 and is now the chief advisor to the Government on ethnic diversity and the inclusion of ethnic communities in wider society.

They provide information, advice and services to, and for, ethnic communities in New Zealand and administer funds to support community development and social cohesion.

The Ministry has a Community Directory, a register of ethnic community organisations and support services.

Community Directory - Ministry for Ethnic Communities (ethniccommunities.govt.nz)

Women's International Newcomers Group Social (WINGS)

Women’s International Newcomers Group Social is a friendship network where women from other parts of the world who now live in Whangārei, meet and organise social and family events. 

There is a monthly social meeting, a weekly coffee morning, a craft group and frequent events for the whole family.

Women's International Newcomers Group Social (WINGS) (wingsnz.org.nz)

Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizen Advice Bureau is a nationwide information service that has information on a wide range of topics.

If they are unable to help with your question, they can put you in touch with someone who can. 

Citizens Advice Bureau (cab.org.nz)


Many migrants choose to become New Zealand citizens.

Read more about how to become a New Zealand citizen and Council's citizenship ceremony.


New Zealand Now

The New Zealand Now website of Immigration New Zealand provides general and local settlement information for new migrants about living and working in New Zealand. 

New Zealand Now (newzealandnow.govt.nz)

Multi Ethnic Collective

The Multi Ethnic Collective is an advisory group who draw from their ethnic experiences and networks to inform how Whangārei can be inclusive, safe, welcoming and best support the needs of our cultural communities.

It is made up of 10 members who voluntarily meet monthly to provide a strong view from their lived ethnic experiences, concerns and aspirations of their communities.

This invaluable voice supports the partner organisations including:

  • Whangārei Police
  • Whangarei District Council
  • Immigration New Zealand
  • Ministry for Ethnic Communities
  • Multicultural Whangārei
  • and most importantly the wider ethnic peoples in the district in which they serve.

Goals of Multi Ethnic Collective

  • Provide information on matters of interest, views or issues of ethnic people in Whangārei.
  • Advise from an ethnic lens on upcoming work of the partnering organisations.
  • Help partners effectively engage with ethnic communities.

More information including an expression of interest for membership and contact details are available on their website: 

Multi ethnic collective (multiculturalwhangarei.co.nz)

Welcoming Communities

We are a part of the Welcoming Communities programme by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

With this programme, we are enhancing our efforts to build a strong and connected community, and making newcomers feel included.

Read more about this programme:

Welcoming Communities - Whangārei district

Welcoming Communities (immigration.govt.nz)


Finding employment for yourself or your spouse is an important part of successful settlement in your new community. 

If you need help, there are some good resources and services available through the Careers NZ website. 

They offer an online 'chat’ service for information and advice, plus a phone and text service.

Careers New Zealand (careers.govt.nz)

Employment rights 

Do you want to know more about your rights and responsibilities?

The New Zealand Immigration website (from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) contains information on all aspects of employment in New Zealand.

Employment Rights (newzealandnow.govt.nz)

For employers 

Support and resources are available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Employ migrants (immigration.govt.nz)


Emergency services

In an emergency, call 111 and ask for Fire, Ambulance or Police.

If you would like to report something to the Police which has already happened and doesn’t need urgent Police assistance dial 105 for non-emergencies.


The public health system provides free hospital treatment.

Whangārei Hospital is Northland's largest and provides secondary specialist care to all of Region. For medical emergencies go to the Accident and Emergency ward at Whangārei Hospital.

Doctors and other medical care

If you are sick, your General Practitioner (GP) or family doctor is the first person you should call. It is a good idea to register with a GP when you move here.

You can find a list of medical practices in Whangārei on this link:

Medical practices in Whangārei (mahitahihauora.co.nz)

All children under fourteen years can visit the doctor for free. There are reduced fees for people on lower incomes.

For general medical advices you can phone Healthline. It is a free, 24-hour service with calls answered by trained staff.

Phone: 0800 611 116 

For illness and minor injuries, you can visit White Cross Accident and Medical Centre at 32 Reyburn Street, Whangarei. They are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Sunday.

Kensington Pharmacy at 4 Kensington Avenue is open until 9:00pm for after hour prescriptions.


Improve your English

Knowledge of English will help you and your family to feel more comfortable in New Zealand. There are local providers available who can help you to improve your English.

English Language Partners (ELP) offers Social English groups classes, one-to-one tutoring, English for Migrants programmes. 

English Language Partners (ELP) (englishlanguage.org.nz)

Whangārei Central Library has a wide range of material to help you to learn English.

Whangārei Central Library


In Whangārei there are many primary, secondary and tertiary education providers. 

If you are looking for a school for your child, visit the New Zealand Ministry of Education website to find out more about the New Zealand education system. Follow the link below.

New Zealand Ministry of Education website (education.govt.nz)


There are many local pre-school options to choose from – kindergartens, play centres and private early childhood centres. 

The Yellow Pages in the Northland phone book contain contact details for these or you can search online.

Yellow Pages (yellow.co.nz)