Celebrating World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said.

“World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey refugees around the world undertake to find safe new lives here. And it’s a chance for us to look at what we can do to make sure they settle into their new lives in New Zealand well,” Kris Faafoi said.

The theme for this year’s World Refugee Day is “the power of inclusion” which acknowledges the importance of working together to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and encourages greater inclusion of refugees in our communities.

“Refugees become New Zealanders the moment they arrive here. They bring with them their unique experiences, culture and skills which enrich our communities. Making them feel included in our communities helps them feel part of our country, helps them achieve their aim of a new and better life, and helps their communities benefit from the contribution they and their families make.

“I want to thank all the community groups, volunteers and agencies who help support our refugees to make them feel welcome, supported and included as they adapt to their new life in New Zealand.

“Although COVID-19 is still impacting our ability to resettle more refugees, the Government remains committed to finding solutions. Since last year’s World Refugee Day we have resumed the Refugee Quota Programme. By the end of this intake year we will have welcomed 212 refugees through Te Āhuru Mōwai o Aotearoa (the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre), with every one of those arrivals having followed our COVID health requirements.

“Over the next financial year (1 July 2021-30 June 2022) we will aim to resettle up to1,000 refugees through the Refugee Quota Programme. And, as the world returns to more normality, we aim to meet the Government’s commitment to eventually welcome up to 1,500 refugees a year to resettle here so they can share in and contribute to our great country,” Kris Faafoi said.