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Christchurch Somali Community

Profile of the Somali Community in Christchurch


Christchurch has the smallest Somali community in New Zealand. With many families having moved to Australia over the years, only a small number of about 80-100 individuals or about 20 – 25 families currently remain in Christchurch.



  • Country of origin: Somalia
  • Reason for flight: 1991 civil war in Somalia
  • Countries of first asylum: mainly Kenya and Ethiopia (most Somalis in New Zealand had lived in these two countries as refugees before arriving here)
  • Religion: Islam
  • Main language: Somali
  • Arrival in New Zealand: through NZ Annual Quota Programme and Family Reunification Category. First wave arrived in 1993
  • Numbers in Christchurch: 80 – 100
  • Settlement areas:



The current Canterbury Somali Community Council was incorporated in 2010 to carry out the following objectives for the community:

  • To ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authority and other public authorities the views of the community it represents, on matters for which those authorities are responsible, and to take what it considers to be appropriate action in the interests of our community;
  • To promote the well-being of the community and to foster community spirit;
  • To enhance the honour and dignity of the Somali culture, language and tradition;
  • To provide, maintain and enhance vital services to our community with Canterbury region and establish its self as a beacon and as a good example for other racial minority and community organisations exemplifying best practice, innovation initiatives;
  • Provide or secure the provision of social services, educational and recreational facilities, and practical assistance for elderly and disabled people within the area of benefit;
  • Provide or secure the provision of welfare rights advice and information and refer those in need of professional assistance to the relevant agencies;
  • To work diligently to bridge cultural diversity between the Somalis and the hosting nation;
  • To work with other organisations to promote peace, stability, justice and unity while working actively for the promotion of our community interests.

Current or recent activities

Not provided

 Key executive committee members


Mohamed Jama – president


19 Bramwell Street