Syrian refugees set to receive powhiri

  • 29/01/2016
Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. (File)
Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. (File)

Dozens of Syrian refugees who have fled a brutal civil war have been welcomed to their new home in New Zealand fashion.

Immigration New Zealand greeted 82 Syrian refugees with a powhiri at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre in Auckland this morning.

The group, to be settled in the Wellington region, are the first of the extra 750 Syrian refugees to be welcomed to New Zealand over the next three years.

They will be joined by 33 Burmese, 30 Afghans, seven Palestinians, four Colombians and one Iraqi refugee.

The group will take part in a six-week programme at centre in Auckland to prepare them for their new life, including getting health assessments, English lessons, guidance on New Zealand life, and support around employment.

Further Syrian refugees will arrive in the March and May intakes and will be settled in Wellington and Dunedin, which was recently selected as a new refugee settlement location.

The Government announced in September it would welcome 750 Syrian refugees over the next three years in response to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

During the five-year conflict, more than 250,000 Syrians have died and a further 11 million others have been forced from their homes.