Newcomers guide to Whanganui



Whanganui District Council and the Whanganui Welcoming Communities Advisory Group warmly welcome you to Whanganui. It’s great to have you here! This webpage provides a brief overview of the role of council, and some important information and contacts to help you settle in.  

Information in my language / / 번역 / अनुवाद / 翻訳 / fa'aliliuga / 翻訳する

If you need help with translation, we recommend:

  • has helpful information about life in Whanganui available in English / 简体中文 / 日本語 / 한국어 / Аккаунт / Tiếng Việt / العربية / Bahasa Indonesia / ไทย / Tagalog
  • Citizens Advice Bureau have access to Connect Now interpreting service and local multilingual volunteers. Pop into the CAB office at 120 Guyton Street, free call 0800 367 222, or send a message on their online chat.
  • Multicultural Council of Whanganui / Rangitikei may be able to help with local translators. Contact: 06 343 1031 / 021 0254 0709 /
  • Most government departments, helplines and large organisations have translation assistance services. To use this service, call the organisation you wish to speak with and ask for translation support in your preferred language.

A Welcoming Community

We are proud to be an accredited ‘Welcoming Community’ with Immigration NZ, recognising that communities are healthier, happier and more productive when newcomers are welcomed and participate fully in society and in the local economy.

For more information on how we are enhancing newcomer experiences, read our Welcoming Communities Plan(PDF, 11MB).

Welcoming Activities Grant

The Whanganui Welcoming Activities Grant supports initiatives that help to make Whanganui more welcoming for newcomers, such as improving access to information and services, celebrating culture and supporting civic and economic opportunities.

Visit the Welcoming Activities Grant webpage for more information.

Cultural Calendar

The cultural calendar(PDF, 284KB) focuses on cultural events and days of significance relevant to Whanganui. It is not an exhaustive list and should be considered as a guide only.

What does the council do?

Our role is to enable and encourage participation in description-making, and to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of all people living in our district, current and future.

In a practical sense, this means looking after local infrastructure and a multitude of community facilities, services and spaces. From footpaths and water, to parks, libraries, and our beautiful rivers and beaches.

The Mayor, Councillors and Community Boards are elected every three years to provide leadership and are responsible for making decisions about local activities. This is important because every town, city and region is different, so its guarantees that the people making decisions understand the uniqueness of Whanganui and are elected by the Whanganui community.

Have your say!

We believe that better decisions and better outcomes come from better engagement with our community. There are a number of ways you can have your say:

Helpful links

  • Your Mayor and Councillors: Names and contacts of our current Mayor and elected members.
  • Your Rural Community Board members: Represent and advocate for our rural community.
  • Council services: Lists many of the services council provides.
  • Welcome to Whanganui 2024(PDF, 14MB): A comprehensive guide to Whanganui, including information on local history, services, attractions, schools and community groups.
  • Libraries: Whanganui’s public libraries are freely open to everyone, and offer a variety programmes, events, free unlimited wifi and desktop computers, and a library home service for those who cant get out to our venues.
  • Rubbish and recycling: Information on household rubbish collection and recycling centres.
  • In an emergency: Information on how to be prepared and what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Schools: Map and information about each school in the Whanganui District
  • Improving your English: English Language Partners Whanganui offer a wide range of courses online, in-class, for work and with home tutors.
  • Joining a community group: Community House have a large database of community groups in Whanganui.
  • Citizenship Ceremonies: Whanganui District Council hosts citizenship ceremonies four times a year to honour our new citizens and warmly embrace them into our vibrant city.
  • Employment NZ: The leading source of information on employment in New Zealand. 
  • Immigration: For information about visas, employing migrants and immigration support for migrants and students.
  • Knowing your rights: It is against the law in New Zealand to be discriminated against because of your ethnic background, sexual orientation, sex, age, disability, religion or family status amongst other things. If you think you have been discriminated against or want to enquire about our process, contact the Human Rights Commission Te Kāhui Tika Tangata.

We’re here to help

If you need any further support you can call or email customer services team on 06 349, or pop in and have a chat with the friendly team at 101 Guyton Street.

You can also reach out to these local contacts:

Multicultural Council of Rangitīkei/Whanganui
Over the past 20 years the Multicultural Council have welcomed many newcomers to our vibrant, ethnically diverse community; offering practical help and providing events and activities to share culture and traditions.

Visit their website
Phone: 06 343 1031 / 021 0254 0709

Citizens Advice Bureau
CAB are a one-stop-shop if you require advice or support. This service is available to all members of the community and is free and confidential. Translation help is available.

Phone: 06 345 0844
Address: 120 Guyton Street, Whanganui