Support for refugee resettlement

  • Lianne Dalziel
Immigration

Funding initiatives to support refugee resettlement in New Zealand are included in Budget 2002.

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said this confirms the government's commitment to achieving positive resettlement outcomes for refugees in New Zealand.

The package includes, all amounts over four years:

  • $110,000 a year for the Refugee and Migrant Service's NZ Qualifications Authority-approved training programme for volunteers working with refugees.
  • $332,000 a year in continued funding of resettlement support programmes which have been running successfully as pilots.
  • $500,000 a year for off-shore health screening of UN-mandated refugees.
  • $601,000 a year into community-based accommodation for border refugee status claimants.

"Today's announcement acknowledges the great work of the Refugee and Migrant Service which is an essential part of assisting UNHCR-mandated refugees to start new lives in New Zealand. I am delighted that government can support their initiative to develop a standards-approved training course for the volunteers who act as sponsors, and often, the first friends, of refugees when they leave the Mangere Resettlement Centre.

"The refugee resettlement programmes are an important part of helping new arrivals who come outside the UNHCR quota adjust to New Zealand life and we are rewarding the success of the pilots with continued funding," Ms Dalziel said.

"In the past, UNHCR-mandated refugees have undergone health checks after arriving which, in the case of active TB, can mean a theoretical risk of exposure during travel to New Zealand. By, implementing off-shore medical screening we will limit this exposure and treatment can commence before they arrive.

"We are also putting $601,000 into community-based accommodation for border refugee status claimants. This will provide for a community-based alternative to detention," Ms Dalziel said.