As the primary provider of refugee resettlement programmes in New Zealand, Red Cross is looking forward to working alongside the Government and local community to resettle refugees in the southern city.

“We’ve just celebrated the first year of Dunedin being a resettlement location which has been hugely successful and I look forward to the community banding together to provide a similar welcome in Invercargill,” says Anne Smith, acting Secretary General of New Zealand Red Cross.

Mrs Smith says the local community is an important part of the success of a new resettlement location. Volunteers and neighbours form the welcoming committee for our newest Kiwis and provide a steady stream of support throughout the resettlement journey.

“We encourage Kiwis to offer a friendly welcome to their new neighbours, whether it’s a chat over the fence or a shared meal.”

People who arrive in New Zealand spend six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre before being resettled into the community where they are supported by Red Cross through the Pathways to Settlement programme for up to 12 months.

Red Cross also provides an employment programme to help people from refugee backgrounds plan their employment, training and career goals and ultimately find work in New Zealand. Finding employment is a key part of the resettlement process, helping people feel empowered and more involved in their new community.

Invercargill will become New Zealand’s seventh resettlement location, along with Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, greater Wellington, Nelson, and Dunedin.

How to help

  • Become a refugee support volunteer and help support a new family as they resettle. Opportunities for volunteers in Invercargill will become available in 2017; for other areas apply here
  • Donate to support our work with new arrivals in New Zealand, and our work internationally with refugees 
  • Provide employment opportunities to a former refugee. This can be organised through the Red Cross’s Pathways to Employment programme