Wednesday, February 21, 2024

NZ marks milestone day for refugees

Today, on World Refugee Day, the Government is celebrating the milestone of resettling 1,500 refugees this quota year.

“New Zealand has a long and proud history of helping people whose lives are at risk and are forced to flee their country,” said Immigration Minister, Michael Wood.

“In 2020 we increased our annual quota under the Refugee Quota Programme from 1,000 to 1,500, and this year is the first time we’ve have been able to resettle the full quota. 

“This is a proud moment for the Government and New Zealand, and an opportunity to recognise the immense contribution former refugees make to Aotearoa New Zealand.

“They bring their experiences, resilience, culture, skills, and knowledge with them, and make us a richer society in all aspects.”

This year, New Zealand has welcomed refugees from all corners of the world including Lebanon, Jordan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Pakistan, Iran, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

The 1,500 refugees are settled in eight traditional regions across Aotearoa: Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, and regions that have started accepting refugees in the last two years: Levin, Masterton, Blenheim, Ashburton, and Timaru.

Humanitarian pathways include the Refugee Quota Programme, Community Organisation Refugee Sponsorship (CORS), the Refugee Family Support Category, and Convention Refugees.

“New Zealand and Australia have also agreed to resettle 450 refugees over three years under the Refugee Quota Programme,” Minister Wood said

“The first people arrived from Nauru under this arrangement in November 2022 and we continue to receive arrivals from both Nauru and Australia.

“I want to acknowledge those community groups and organisations who help to support refugees to make New Zealand their home. They play a pivotal role in helping refugees to settle into New Zealand,” he said.

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