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Manawatū is one of the most culturally diverse regions in New Zealand with more than 130 different ethnic communities from all over the world choosing to settle here – bringing a dynamic international perspective to our community and an exciting calendar of events to enjoy.

Multicultural Associations 

If you are new to New Zealand or Manawatu, and looking for friendly community-based advice to help ease the transition, or are interested in engaging and immersing in a new culture, there are a variety of cultural groups for you to join in our region. 

  • The Manawatū Multicultural Council celebrates, supports and connects the multicultural communities of Manawatū. They provide information, advice, support and education and also run the Newcomers Network.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau runs Migrant Information Sessions for anyone who has questions about how things work in New Zealand. For more information, you can contact the bureau here.
  • The Network of Skilled Migrants helps new residents to identify their talents, develop professional networks, enhance skills and settle here in Manawatū. The network can help with the process of qualifications and skills assessments and recognition, identify pathways to vocational, English language and skills training through organisations and partners, as well as mentoring, partnerships and professional advice. Learn more and contact them here.

Celebrating the Festival of Cultures 

The Festival of Cultures, held every March, is a vibrant display of culture, colour, music, food and dance. Each year our local ethnic communities come together to create the colourful and vibrant Festival of Cultures, a week long festival which features a variety of local performances from countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Ireland, Russia, India, Pacific Islands, Latin America and Japan, to name a few. 

Food is always a highlight of the festival, with many community groups serving up their traditional dishes, or ‘specialties’ at the World Food, Craft and Music Fair. 

With food stalls, fascinating performances and information available about various countries, families can experience many of the world’s traditions right here in the heart of the Manawatu. 

Festival of Cultures


Make friends and take on the world, literally, in the popular one-day football tournament, Ethkick, in Palmerston North. The tournament features sides from all around the world, but you’ll have to get in quick, only 40 teams can enter and spaces fill quickly! For more information, visit Sport Manawatu.

Ethkick football team

An Ethkick football team