UNHCR welcomes New Zealand focus on resettlement

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has welcomed the launch of the Refugee Resettlement Strategy as an important framework within which a focus on ensuring New Zealand’s excellent reputation for high quality settlement services can be maintained.

New Zealand has maintained a resettlement quota since 1987, giving thousands of people the chance to build a new future for themselves and their families. Resettled refugees are selected by the New Zealand Government in close consultation with UNHCR in recognition of the vulnerabilities and acute protection challenges they face abroad.

“The Refugee Resettlement Strategy is a welcome approach that focuses on concrete areas of assistance that will help refugees rebuild their lives and make the best contribution they can in their new country,” UNHCR Regional Representative Richard Towle said today.

“The emphasis on the basics of health, education and housing is important, as is the commitment to giving refugees the tools to become self-sufficient and fully contributing members of New Zealand society.”

UNHCR has also welcomed the commitment of the Strategy to work across Government, and with non-government partners and refugee communities, in the delivery of the Strategy.

“Giving refugee communities and service providers a voice in these processes is vital to their success,” Mr Towle said.

“It is also encouraging to see the commitment to a comprehensive strategy, led by Immigration New Zealand, and covering the range of issues and services across the whole of government.”