Budget 2014: Extra money to boost resettlement of refugees

  • Michael Woodhouse
Immigration Budget 2014

The Government will invest an extra $5.6 million in operating spending over the next four years to help newly arrived quota refugees during their first 12 months in New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says.

All quota refugees spend their first six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre, before being resettled in five regions throughout New Zealand: Auckland, Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington and Nelson.

Core funding for national resettlement planning and support services for quota refugees has remained at the same level of $7.6 million a year since 2004/05.

“We have an enviable reputation internationally for our work in resettling refugees from the world’s trouble spots and this extra money will ensure that refugees will continue to get the excellent level of help and support they need to settle into their new country,” Mr Woodhouse says.

The extra money will pay for improved access to services in the community and a subsidised learn-to-drive programme for working-age refugees to help them get into work.

“One of the main goals of the whole-of-government refugee resettlement strategy is increasing the number of refugees in paid employment and these sorts of initiatives will help deliver better outcomes for refugees.

“New Zealand has always placed a high priority on its responsibilities towards refugees since we began resettling young Polish refugees in 1944.

“The Mangere centre is being rebuilt following a Government decision last year and this new money will help to ensure that refugees are given the tools to make the best possible contribution to their new life.”


  • Under New Zealand’s refugee quota programme, 750 (plus or minus 10 per cent, so between 675 and 825) refugees are resettled in New Zealand annually. There are up to six intakes a year of around 125 people each.
  • The refugee resettlement strategy was launched by the Government in December 2012 and is aimed at delivering better outcomes for refugees settling in New Zealand.
  • The goals include:

    - Increasing the number of refugees in paid employment and reducing the number receiving unemployment-related benefits.

    - 85 per cent of refugee school leavers to be achieving NCEA Level 2 after five years in the New Zealand education system.

    - Increasing the number of refugee children who receive age-appropriate immunisations.

    - Ensuring better use of GP services and greater access to mental health services.