New Zealand Red Cross is delighted to be announced as the primary settlement provider for former refugees in two new locations – Blenheim and Levin – and will be delivering settlement support in Masterton in partnership with Connecting Communities Wairarapa. Red Cross is also the lead provider for employment support in all five new locations, including Timaru and Ashburton.

“We have seen a huge amount of community support in the existing settlement locations we work in and expect the new locations to be no different. We look forward to working with communities and providers in each of these towns to give the best support to our newest Kiwis,” says Rachel O’Connor, New Zealand Red Cross’ General Manager Migration.

“New Zealand Red Cross already has a strong presence in the new areas – hundreds of Red Cross members and volunteers are part of the communities which will be welcoming the new arrivals. The Red Cross whānau is excited to be part of their journey in Aotearoa.

“The global humanitarian situation is worse than it has ever been, and the need is increasing every day. With the quota increasing to 1,500 refugees next year and the addition of new settlement locations, New Zealand is showing a commitment to humanitarian principles that are core to who we are as Kiwis – fairness, equity and openness.”

People from refugee backgrounds who have come to New Zealand have brought economic and social diversity, cultural richness and skills and experience from which we can all learn. Red Cross’ long history of working with former refugees across New Zealand and overseas means we have significant experience supporting and empowering new Kiwis as they rebuild their lives.

Through our Pathways to Employment programme, our teams will be working with people from refugee backgrounds to plan their employment, training and career goals, and ultimately find work in New Zealand.

Our experience also tells us that the host community plays an important role in making new residents feel at home. We encourage Kiwis to offer them a warm welcome – whether that’s by chatting to their new neighbours or sharing a meal.

People living in settlement locations can also support refugee settlement in New Zealand by:

  • Becoming a refugee support volunteer. Be a friendly face and a supportive guide to newly arrived former refugees. Opportunities for volunteering in Blenheim and Levin will be opened in 2020; for other established settlement areas apply online.
  • Providing employment opportunities to a former refugee. This can be organised through the Red Cross’ Pathways to Employment programme.
  • Donating to support our work with new arrivals in New Zealand, and our work internationally with refugees.

Media contact: for more information or for interviews, please contact Elodie Berthe, Communications Advisor on 04 494 1391.