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Hamilton Somali Community

Profile of the Somali Community in Hamilton

Hamilton has the biggest Somali community after Auckland. There are about 800-900 Somalis or 180 families in Hamilton. The Somali population in Hamilton is very young with an average age of 19 years.  More than 50% of the population are under 16 and the average age is 19 years.


  • 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 Refugee Quota Programme and family reunification. First wave arrived in 1993
  • Numbers in Hamilton: 800-900
  • Settlement areas:Hamilton East, Fairfield, Fairview Downs and Chartwell


The Waikato Somali Friendship Society was incorporated in 1995 to carry out the following objectives:

  • to preserve, promote and celebrate the cultural identity of Somalia.
  • to foster and promote cultural understanding and appreciation of all cultures of New Zealand and 
  • to provide the community with information, advice and life skills programmes to effect successful resettlement in New Zealand.

 Community Activities

The Society runs or has in the past run the following life-skills programmes and other services:

  • Advocacy, advice and support in matters relating to immigration, housing, education, employment and other services
  • Special activities for women
  • After school study centre for children
  • Somali language class for children
  • Holiday programme for children
  • Special events and celebrations such EID festival and Somali Independence Day
  • Sport activities for youth (including participation in the annual event of  Waikato Ethnic Soccer Festival, Waikato Sunday Soccer and Muslim tournament

The current executive committee

  1. Bashir Awad – president
  2. Yasin – vice president
  3. Siciid – secretary
  4. Abdulkhade Suleiman – treasurer
  5. Halima Awad – Women Affairs Co-ordinator
  6. Sahra Ibrahim – assistant, women affairs coordinator

There are also a number of committee members and elders to support the executive officers with their responsibilities.


PO Box 4332, Hamilton East

Phone: 021 257 1315