Community Potluck Lunch
Sandra Noble, Tracey Rocha Miering and Marion Low entertaining at November’s Ethnic Eats. Photo supplied

Cromwell Newcomers Network is a fine example of kindness in our local community. It is a celebration of diversity, and friendship and a chance to learn about the different experiences and cultures that newcomers bring to our district.

The group was formed in 2016, with the purpose of providing opportunities for people new to the area to meet and connect with others and the wider community. Activities include local walks, cycles, coffee meets, dinners, hikes and a monthly “Mix and Mingle’ event. They have also run Communication in English evenings, and an Inclusive Workplace Workshop, with Cromwell Connect.

Co-ordinator Sharon Smid knows that, universally, the best way to connect in a relaxed manner with people is to share food.

As Cromwell has a growing migrant community, the group decided that organising regular pot-luck lunches over the summer months, with different cultural entertainment each time, would be ideal.

To make this vision a reality, they entered the Connect Cromwell Winning Ideas competition, and were awarded $1000 to launch their Ethnic Eats events.

“Our purpose is that nobody should feel isolated in this community,” says Sharon.

The first Ethnic Eats lunch, held in November, featured entertainment by our local South African residents. Sandra, Tracy and Marion performed a skit about the diversity within their home country, and its different uses of language. The one thing they all have in common – ‘we like to laugh’.

Sharon advises all-comers – migrants, kiwis, newcomers, long-time locals – to just bring food representing your culture for sharing at the family-friendly lunch, adding, “This Sunday, we are excited to have Gina Bina and friends performing a Latin dance demo.”

When: Sunday 5 December, 1-4pm

Where: Cromwell Sport Club, Barry Avenue

Enquiries: or 022 111 3083

Reminder: Covid protocols will apply.

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