“We agree that it is the kiwi way to welcome refugees and believe that New Zealand has been a world leader in this regard,” says Anne Smith, acting Secretary General of New Zealand Red Cross.

In the current global climate support for refugees, and upholding obligations to protect them, has never been more important.

Long conflicts around the world have exacted a terrible price on civilians, among them high numbers of women and children and Red Cross is concerned that the current refugee quota in New Zealand does not match the global humanitarian need.

“The majority of refugees are women and children, an emergency intake could assist some of these families who are most vulnerable,” says Mrs Smith.

As the primary provider of refugee resettlement support in Aotearoa, Red Cross is confident that New Zealand has the capacity to do more to meet the ongoing humanitarian need.

“The continual offers of support we have from kiwis demonstrates that people care about what’s happening on the global stage and want to help.”

New Zealand has a world class refugee resettlement programme which means we are in a position to respond to urgent humanitarian need. An emergency intake now is both possible and urgently required.

How to help

Kiwis who want to take practical steps to help refugees can do so in several ways:

  • Volunteering as a refugee support volunteer to help support a new family as they resettle. Register for volunteer training through the New Zealand Red Cross website

  • Giving someone from a refugee background a job with employment being a key part of the resettlement process. This can be organised through the Red Cross Pathways to Employment programme

  • Donating through the New Zealand Red Cross website to support our work with new refugees in New Zealand and our work internationally with refugees 

  • Donating small household goods (not furniture, but items like bedding and things for setting up kitchens) that will help turn houses into homes for refugee families. Donations of goods can be made at any New Zealand Red Cross Shop