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This announcement is exciting news for the communities of Timaru, Whanganui, Blenheim, Masterton, Levin and Ashburton. Communities in the existing settlement locations have found it a hugely positive experience and we expect the same in the new ones.
“New Zealand has a long history of welcoming refugees and to date that’s only been to a handful of cities. It’s incredibly exciting that other parts of the country will get to play a role in welcoming some of our newest Kiwis,” says Rachel O’Connor, New Zealand Red Cross’ General Manager Migration.
“Former refugees add significantly to the cultural richness, economy and diversity of communities. When people from refugee backgrounds arrive in Aotearoa, they bring with them great strength and resilience along with a diverse range of skills, experiences and cultures from which we can all learn and benefit.
“They are doctors, skilled tradespeople, teachers, parents and friends, and represent a cross section of society. They are also incredibly passionate about becoming New Zealanders.”
Kiwis can make a world of difference to families arriving as refugees by offering a friendly welcome, whether it is a chat over the fence or a shared meal. With their lives disrupted by conflict or persecution, former refugees simply seek a safe environment in which they can settle and engage freely in society.
A number of factors, including the housing and employment situations, have been considered in identifying these new locations to ensure they have the capacity to support former refugees. The latest announcement (including the yet to be named location) brings the total number of settlement locations to 14, which will help support the upcoming quota increase.
We look forward to welcoming the new arrivals.
For more information or for interviews, please contact: 04 495 0139
Edited on 16 August 2019 to include the annoucement of Ashburton as the sixth settlement location.