Rotorua's Multicultural Council is looking forward to 2021, with both much of the same and new projects on the horizon for this year.
Rotorua Multicultural Council president Margriet Theron says throughout 2021 the council will be doing more of the same.
This includes working with community services from Plunket right through to Hospice to help migrants learn about and understand all of the services that are available in Rotorua, as well as to help the different services understand the migrant communities better.
Margriet says they have received funding from the Office for Seniors to introduce elderly migrants to the services and activities available for older people in Rotorua, which will be a new project for the council.
"For example, at Parksyde there's a whole lot of different activities, and many of the older migrants don't know about them."
She says the funding will help to get some older migrants attending the various sessions and they will be looking to pair migrants with a Kiwi buddy.
The Multicultural Council helps communities to organise and hold special cultural events with the local community, and Margriet says there are now a lot of different ethnicities approaching them about their special days throughout the year.
"The Multicultural Council has become better known and they are coming to us rather than us approaching them."
She says there are at least 62 different countries which have been involved with the Multicultural Council in Rotorua.
She says examples of cultural celebrations starting off 2021 are the Latin American Festival held Thursday at the Rotorua Night Market, Chinese New Year coming up and Plunket will be holding a festival for children of the world where different groups will display their foods, games and culture.
Margriet says the Waitangi Day celebration was hugely successful last year at Ohinemutu, and this year eight different countries have said they would like a stall, so there will be at least eight different stalls with food, games, crafts and activities from different countries.
There will also be a bigger programme of cultural performances and more flags in the Parade of Nations, she says.
"It's a great year ahead. We all hope it will be a good, bright 2021."