Our Community Champions

We have some pretty special individuals, organisations and businesses around the district that exemplify what it means to be a welcoming community. Meet these exemplary people and groups and learn about their stories here:

Peter Melrose

Local principal Peter Melrose says his school makes an extra effort to include new families in school activities. It helps people build connections and feel that they belong here, he says.

Read Peter’s full story

Father Geoff Gray

In more than four decades as a priest, Father Gray has met thousands of people from all around the world. His multicultural parish has helped many newcomers find their feet in the district.

Read Father Gray's full story

Maria Maceren

Local tutor Maria believes confidence is key when it comes to learning English. She loves helping newcomers open the door to opportunities in the community.

Read Maria's full story

Alyce Lysaght

Alyce has always had a passion for getting involved in the community. So she joined the Ashburton Youth Council to amp up her participation and expand her skillset.

Read Alyce's full story

Earl Magtibay

An invitation to perform at a Christmas party was Earl’s first introduction to the Filipino Dairy Workers NZ group. Now, he’s chairperson of the award winning organisation.

Read Earl's full story

Tanya Robinson

Reflecting the diversity of the community in the staff, volunteers and exhibitions at the Ashburton Museum helps make it a welcoming public space, according to Museum Director Tanya Robinson.

Read Tanya's full story

Jan Cochrane

The social connections developed through sport and recreation are hugely beneficial for anyone settling into a new community, according to Sport Canterbury Mid Canterbury Regional Manager Jan Cochrane.

Read Jan's full story

Murray McPherson

A positive workplace culture is essential in helping newcomers feel
part of a team, says local businessman Murray McPherson.

Read Murray's full story

Useful Links

Ashburton District Council

5 Baring Square West

7700 Ashburton

Welcoming Communities New Zealand is a government initiative led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, in partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs (including the Office of Ethnic Communities) and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

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