On the 19th of March 2006 Marlborough held its inaugural Multicultural Festival.
From the beginning, Marlborough has had a multicultural background, with the first European settlers living alongside the existing Maori inhabitants of the region. At times the relationship was cordial, but at others violence resulting in bloodshed occurred. As time went on however, Marlborough became increasingly dominated by people of British descent.
All this began to change in the late 20th Century, as New Zealand as a whole began to reflect a wider ethnic diversity. While Marlborough has tended to retain a strong white European demographic, the labour demands of a growing viticultural industry, and internal migration of people of other ethnicities who have settled in New Zealand has resulted in an ethnic shift.
In early 2006, a planning committee was established to launch the inaugural Multi Cultural Festival in the region.
The event was held on a Sunday from mid morning to mid afternoon, and was a resounding success with a wide range of nationalities and ethnic groups represented including Indian, Thai, Brazilian, Korean, Maori, Philipino, Irish, amongst others.