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Otago (Ōtākou)

Dunedin Settlement Support Coordinator

Fi McKay
Dunedin City Council
50 The Octagon
Dunedin 9016
Phone: 03 474 3332
email: fmckay@dcc.govt.nz

Visit Settlement Support Dunedin webpage
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Sited at the head of a long harbour close to the world’s only mainland Wandering Albatross colony, the city of Dunedin is the principal settlement of an area rich in history and scenic beauty. Scottish migrants called it the ‘Scotland of the South’.

Just 13 years after the town was founded, gold was discovered in Central Otago, and the town and region boomed. Now soaring cathedral spires, a magnificent Flemish-style railway station, the country’s only castle and our oldest university all carry this heritage proudly. 

Over time Otago University has grown steadily to become an internationally renowned institution with a defining influence over both Dunedin and the rest of the country. Otago includes the principal Medical School in the country and the only School of Dentistry. Each year around 25,000 or 20% of Dunedin’s residents are students at Otago University.

The city is permeated with the personality of the students. Despite its relative distance from the large centres and a cooler climate, Dunedin has energy well beyond its size.

Beyond the city Otago extends across four districts: Clutha, Waitaki, the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago. Each of these areas has it’s own character, but together they present a very attractive proposition to both tourists and residents.

Inland Otago has a continental climate, with warm summers, cold winters, and times of true transition in between.  In the Queenstown lakes area quite stunning mountain scenery and snow skiing exists mere kilometres from some of the world’s most respected pinot noir wineries. 


The government also provides support for newcomers to create their own local networks.
To find out more, visit the Otago Newcomers Network.

The Newcomers Network is supported by Settling In, an initiative of Family and Community Services (Ministry of Social Development).


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Useful Links

  • New Kiwis –an online service connecting potential employers with new migrants in New Zealand.
  • Help in your language– if you’re not comfortable speaking English, settlement information is available in other languages. CAB Language Link is free, independent and confidential. Phone 0800 788 877. You can also contact this service through SSNZ.
  • Other Settlement services


Settlement Curve