Our projects

Rotorua Multicultural Council runs a lot of different projects and is being involved in Rotorua’s community life in many ways. From supporting ethnic celebrations to running online cooking lessons in COVID-19 lockdown.

Home Country Links

This programme offers the opportunity to well-established migrants to meet with new arrivals from their home country to help them to settle and build new friendships.

Home Country Links events for the Filipino, Japanese, South African, South American, Korean, Indian and Chinese migrants were very successful.

Migrants from countries who have not yet had a turn contact Leidy [email protected]

Free event, including coffee, tea or hot chocolate and something to eat.

Children welcome.

Flax weaving course

We are delighted that the talented Māori weaver, Anna Hayes, has agreed to teach traditional flax weaving to our members. Migrants from Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, the Philippines, Russia and South Africa were privileged to join the first lesson of the raranga (flax weaving) course being taught by Anna Hayes (Ngati Kahungunu Ngati Rakaipaaka). Do have a look at some of Anna’s beautiful creations here: https://www.annahayescreative.com/about/

Next course starts on the 13th November to 4th December 2020 every Friday

Waka paddling

As a part of the CATCH (Cultural Awareness to Create Harmony) programme of the Rotorua Multicultural Council, we organise Waka paddling experiences for our members. They learn about the Waka (Canoes), local history and how to paddle traditionally styled waka tētē.

Professional Speaking for Migrants course

The Rotorua Multicultural Council has offered a Professional Speaking for Migrants course once per year since 2011. It suits migrants from non-English backgrounds who can hold a one-to-one conversation in English and want to learn how to address an audience from a job interview panel to a group of work colleagues to a classroom of students.
The course is funded for those on residence visas. The course is free but students pay $138 for entry to the Speech NZ Certificate in Professional Speaking examination which is part of the course.

The next course will be offered in mid-2021. Send an email to [email protected] for more information.

Funded by Mokoia Community Association Professional Speaking Course

Hospice Support Group

The Chief Executive of Hospice Rotorua invited Dr Margriet Theron, the President of the Rotorua Multicultural Council, to meet with him and Kath Erskine-Shaw, the Quality Manager at Hospice Rotorua in 2019. Through discussions with their staff, they had become aware that the nursing staff were going into homes to provide care to patients and their family and friends and that in a growing number of cases they were encountering a situation where they were not aware of the cultural issues around death and dying. During 2019/20, as the Support Group was being set up and developed, we received positive feedback from the CEO and staff of Rotorua Community Hospice.

Funded by COGS Rotorua

Multicultural Celebrations

Every last Thursday of the month at noon Rotorua Multicultural Council runs a shared Multicultural Lunch in the Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri. With different ethnic cuisines and stories of culture and lifestyle in many other countries.

RMC also runs and supports many other national, religious and ethnic celebrations like Africa Day, Latin-American Day, Eid-Al-Fitr and many others.

Funded by Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, Geyser Community Foundation, Bay Trust

Women’s Wellbeing Programme

Rotorua Multicultural Council run two 10-week, two hours per week Women’s Wellbeing programmes which have been developed by Victoria University of Wellington to help migrant women to settle in New Zealand. Groups of 10-14 ladies who had just arrived in NZ were taken to marae, Immigration’s Lawer, the Rotorua Police Station, Lakes District Health Board, the Offices of the Rotorua’s Mayor and Members of Parliament, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, English Language Partners, the Art’s Village and Dress For Success. So that migrant women could learn about services available to them and their families.
Funded by Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Community Welcome Ceremonies at the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Every intake of International students at the Rotorua Polytech is met by members of many ethnic communities. Volunteers from different countries came to meet and greet newcomers from their counties and give support and advice in their languages. Most of the students are from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Philippines, China, Russia and some others.

Crochet course and conversational English

RMC set and run sixteen crochet master-classes. There were four groups 8-10 ladies each, who met for 2.5 hours to craft and chat. Wonderful crochet tutor Kate Bludova from Saint-Petersburg, Russia was very patient and taught all the ladies how to crochet some incredible things.
Funded by Creative NZ

WAITANGI day celebrations

In 2020 Rotorua Multicultural Council managed stalls for six ethnic groups: Japanese, Russian, Polish, Filipino, Indian, Latin-American and the Parade of National Costumes. The event featured live music, entertainment, competitions and giveaways, interactive displays, market stalls, talks and tours, and other activities. Rotorua Multicultural Council plans to participate again in 2021.

Tatau Tatau photoshot

Promotional photo shoot for Tātau Tātau, the 2020 Rotorua Lakeside Concert held on 29 February 2020.

Lockdown Cooking Lessons

Colombian Arepas and chocolate

Name: Juliana Osojara
Country: Colombia
Dish: Arepas and chocolate

(9 Arepas)

  • 3 cups of precooked white corn flour/Corn meal flour or Polenta can be used instead
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp spices
  • 1 tbsp butter

(for 6 people)

  • 6 cups of milk (cow or soy milk)
  • 6-8 blocks of chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves

South African Vetkoek Aka Fry Bread and Milk tart

Name: Natasha Oosthuizen Otto
Country: South Africa
Dish: Vetkoek Aka Fry Bread and Milk tart

Ingredients Vetkoek Aka Fry Bread:

  • 1 kg of flour
  • 3 tbs of sugar
  • 1 tbs of salt
  • 1 tbs of yeast
  • 600 ml lukewarm water

Ingredients Milk tart:

  • 1 lt of milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup of cornflour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt

Swedish meatballs and Veggieballs with mashed potato and mushroom souce

Name: Astrid Bunne Namdari
Country: Sweden
Recipe: Swedish meatballs and Veggieballs with mashed potato and mushroom souce

Ingredients meatballs:

  • 750 gr of mince (beef, pork, lamb)
  • 5 tblsp breadcrumbs
  • 150 ml cream
  • 1 onion
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients Veggieballs:

  • breadcrumbs
  • milk
  • broccoli
  • kidney beans
  • feta cheese
  • onion
  • garlic
  • mixed herbs

Ecuadorian quinoa and cheese soup

Name: Paulina Romero
Country: Ecuador
Dish: Quinoa and cheese soup


  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 5-6 potatoes
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 8 cups of water or broth
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  • Avocado, and parsley or cilantro to serve.

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Names: Antonio Tejero – Dad, Tanny Tejero – Mum, Alyana Tejero – Daughter, Carlos Tejero – Son
Country: The Philippines
Dish: Filipino Chicken Adobo


  • 400 gms chicken nibbles
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • pepper, bay leaves, as needed
  • Soy Sauce, as needed
  • White Vinegar, as needed
  • 3 Spoonful Oyster sauce
  • 1 Spoonful Sugar (optional)

Polish dish Iazanka

Name: Kinga Dabrowska
Country: Poland
Polish dish Iazanka


  • 1 big onion
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 400g of chopped cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt and pepper

Filipino Pumpkin Soup

How good to see Brian and his daughter Scarlet working together in the kitchen to make this delicious traditional Filipino soup. Brian is passing on the skills to prepare wholesome food to the next generation. Just a word of warning to other parents: when your little ones begin to help you in the kitchen, give them safe jobs to do – no sharp knives and not near hot pots or food. Then they can become confident helpers like Scarlet. Teaching children to assist in the kitchen is an excellent activity for this time when everybody family is involved in home schooling.

Name: Brian and Scarlet Ty
Country: The Philippines
Recipe: Filipino Pumpkin Soup


  • 3 Garlic Cloves (mince)
  • 1 Small Brown Onion (small dice)
  • 2 Cups Diced Pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp Crab Paste
  • 1 Cup Coconut Cream
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooked Crab Meat to garnish

Colombian Beans

Name: Yolima Tabares
Country: Colombia
Recipe: Colombian Beans


  • 2 cups of cranberry beans also known as borlotti or speckled sugar beans
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • spring onion
  • half red capsicum
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 table spoon tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil