First refugees arrive under new community sponsorship category

In an amazing sign of Kiwi generosity, New Zealand will welcome 21 refugees who are being sponsored by community organisations.

The refugees, made up of five families, arrive this week under a new settlement approach - the pilot of the Community Organisation Refugee Sponsorship Category. This is in addition to the Government's existing refugee quota.

The community organisations will be responsible for finding them private housing, teaching them English and helping them adjust to New Zealand and find jobs.

Immigration New Zealand manager Steve McGill says we should be "immensely proud" of how we are welcoming refugees.

"This intake will experience a new and continued supportive settlement programme, driven by four community-based organisations that will help the refugees to settle into their new communities," he says.

"Sponsored refugees will spend two weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre before settling in communities with the support of the approved sponsors.

"This new approach will help bring communities together, so they can be directly involved in supporting refugees to settle into New Zealand life."

The Government refugee quota is 1000 per year.


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