The announcement is particularly timely given the worsening situation for millions of people worldwide who have been, and continue to be, forced from their country due to violence and persecution.

In the past eight weeks alone we’ve seen more than 600,000 people cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, fleeing violence. The situation is dire, with escalating health needs and strained resources.

Red Cross knows that effective humanitarian aid requires the ability to respond quickly and would therefore like to see the increase implemented as quickly as possible.

“We are confident in our capacity to support an increase in resettlement numbers, we have an amazing group of New Zealanders ready to volunteer and can upscale quickly to respond to the humanitarian need,” says Niamh Lawless, New Zealand Red Cross Secretary-General.

New Zealand Red Cross will continue to recruit voluntary refugee support workers, who help families become familiar with New Zealand systems such as enrolling in schools, navigating public transport and setting up a bank account, as well as helping new Kiwis connect with their local community.

For more information about the programme and how to volunteer visit