'Nau mai, haere mai' are words often heard around New Zealand - welcome, come this way.

In Palmerston North the idea of being hospitable has taken a more conscious approach with the council participating in Immigration New Zealand's Welcoming Communities scheme.
Core to the scheme here is Rangitāne, a local iwi whose youth kapa haka group, Te Ahi Kāea, takes centre stage at events like the council's Welcoming Ceremony.

"For Rangitāne, we've been doing this for centuries," said Christopher Whaiapu of Rangitāne. "So we're not new to this sort of welcoming ceremony so to speak."

"Our young ones have really loved the experience. They have now just started moving more into wanting to write their own specific items for the welcoming ceremonies sessions, so it's quite exciting where this is going to head in the future for us as well."

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Last week, Te Ahi Kāea performed at the Mayoral Welcome for international students, with a waiata and haka, making an impression on the new arrivals from overseas.

Video footage supplied by PNCC

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