Refugee resettlement

On 10 December 2012, New Zealand Red Cross joined with Refugee Services Aotearoa to become the country’s primary refugee resettlement agency.

Around the world tens of millions of people have been forced to flee their homes for nothing more than their race, religion or beliefs. Each year through the United Nations quota programme, New Zealand welcomes around 750 refugees, giving them the opportunity to build new lives in a safe place.

On 10 December 2012, New Zealand Red Cross joined with Refugee Services Aotearoa to become the country’s primary refugee resettlement agency. We’ve combined the expertise of Refugee Services with the resources and knowledge of New Zealand Red Cross and the international Red Cross Movement to create an even stronger foundation for former refugees in New Zealand.

Qualified social workers, refugee-background caseworkers, cross cultural workers, employment specialists and trained community volunteers support refugee background families and individuals with everything from enrolling their children in school to searching for jobs and connecting with their new communities.

While we empower former refugees to achieve their goals and contribute to their new home, we also aim to foster an inclusive, welcoming community who values the strength, resilience and skills they bring.

“New Zealand gave us hope to live and restart our lives,” says Zabeh Gazizada, a former refugee from Afghanistan who currently lives in Christchurch and, at only 23 years old, owns his own business.

“We all have to work hard to become successful, and it feels great to see my family succeeding. I am proud of my family and thankful to New Zealand that they care about people who have no home and no place to live in peace. I have big dreams, a lot of goals to achieve, and so many people to surprise. I know a bit of hard work and believing in myself can get me places. It is already happening.”