Some of the newest arrivals to Nelson have been helping to care for the environment by getting involved with local community initiatives. A recently settled Kayah family connected with Keep Richmond Beautiful (KRB) to join a working bee on Moturoa (Rabbit Island) in August.

The working bee was organised to plant native plants on the wetlands of Moturoa to provide shelter and encourage bird life in the area, after it was damaged by an ex-tropical cyclone in early 2018. A total of 800 native plants were planted on the island.

The family was accompanied by Les and Perry Ayrton, who are Refugee Support Volunteers. For Perry, being part of their journey has been a satisfying experience. “I find the involvement very enjoyable, to see them at the airport, stunned and very unsure, and then to build to where they are now.”

Perry says the family enjoyed the day and was welcomed by the regular KRB volunteers. “They all made a point of talking and encouraging them, and the family indicated they would do it again.”

Keep Richmond Beautiful works on a voluntary basis to preserve the outdoors in the Tasman District. The local council assists with grants and supplying of trees and shrubs.

Welcome new Kiwis to your community

Every day across Aotearoa there are people helping former refugees to get settled in their new neighborhood. You can be part of this journey by volunteering as a Refugee Support Volunteer with your local Red Cross team.