Media Release

Welcome packs help former refugee families make their new house a home

21 October 2021

This month, New Zealand Red Cross’ Pathways to Settlement Programme will be delivering a welcome pack to former refugees’ households across Aotearoa to help them settle into their new homes.

The welcome packs are filled with essential household items, including laundry and cleaning supplies, kitchen and bathroom essentials and electrical products such as power boards. Each welcome pack will be hand-packed and donated by the local Bunnings team in their area. For those that enjoy gardening and growing their own produce, gardening support packs are also available upon request. 

The first packs have already made their way to Red Cross teams in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. The initiative has been coordinated by the New Zealand Red Cross and Bunnings. Local Bunnings team members have been bundling up the welcome packs for Red Cross volunteers to deliver into the former refugees’ houses before they arrive in their new homes.

“We are so grateful for this incredible support from Bunnings,” says Rachel O’Connor, New Zealand Red Cross General Manager Migration. “Having these packs available in every home where we are welcoming our former refugee arrivals brings real joy to our team. As well as providing household essentials, the packs are a tangible expression of manaakitanga and say much about the kindness and compassion of Kiwis.”

Bunnings has a long history of supporting the New Zealand Red Cross with disaster and emergency response in the communities in which it operates. During the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, the Bunnings team provided hands-on support and donations to help the communities get back on their feet. Local store teams have also lent their support for Red Cross Meals on Wheels and assistance for former refugees’ households in their local communities.

Bunnings New Zealand Director, Ben Camire said, “Our local teams have worked closely with New Zealand Red Cross for many years, supporting the great work they do in the local community during times of crisis and hardship. We are proud to be able to build on this support and help New Zealand Red Cross continue the important work they do through the Pathways to Settlement Programme”.

With the phenomenal support of Red Cross volunteers, the New Zealand Red Cross Pathways to Settlement Programme provides former refugees with comprehensive settlement support for the first twelve months as they integrate into their new communities. 

Pathways to Settlement information


List of types of products included in welcome pack:

  • Laundry and cleaning supplies, including mop, broom, dustpan, laundry basket, laundry drying rack, pegs, hangers, bucket.
  • Kitchen and bathroom essentials, including bathmat, cutlery tray, sponge and dish brush, rubbish bin, measuring jug.
  • Electrical products, including extension lead, protected power board, batteries.
  • Hand tools.
  • Welcome mat and a Bunnings umbrella.

List of types of products included in gardening pack:

  • Gardening tools.
  • Planting troughs.
  • Potting mix.
  • Bunning gift voucher for plants.

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About Bunnings

Bunnings is a leading retailer of home and lifestyle products for consumer and commercial customers in New Zealand. Bunnings is a major supplier to project builders, commercial tradespeople and the housing industry. Bunnings employs more than 5,000 team members in New Zealand and in FY21, Bunnings participated in and supported close to 5,000 community activities, helping to raise and contribute over $1.7 million dollars for local community groups

About New Zealand Red Cross

The New Zealand Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity and enhancing community resilience.

The Red Cross Fundamental Principles guide everything that we do, whether we're helping people in communities across Aotearoa New Zealand or providing urgent relief in response to an international disaster. These seven principles unite the worldwide Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to help without discrimination those who suffer and by doing so contribute to peace in the world.

Fundamental Principles information