Playing our part to support refugees in our region and the world

New Zealand playing its part in Asia-Pacific and globally are behind changes announced today to the Coalition Government’s three year refugee quota policy, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“We are proud to be a welcoming and inclusive nation committed to supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable people to rebuild their lives and thrive in New Zealand.

“Just last year we increased our refugee quota from 1000 to 1500 for 2020, announced six new settlement locations, we’ve been expanding our Māngere resettlement centre and have strengthened settlement support.

“Today we are continuing this work announcing this Coalition Government’s three year refugee policy,” he said.

It will:

  • maintain the focus on the Asia-Pacific region to demonstrate regional responsibility sharing with 50 per cent of places to be allocated to the region over the next three years
  • continue to support the Middle East and Africa regions where priority refugee resettlement needs are the highest, increasing their allocation from 14 per cent to 15 per cent
  • remove the requirement the previous National government created for Quota refugees from Africa and the Middle East regions to have family already living in New Zealand so more refugees with priority resettlement needs from the two regions can be settled here
  • continue to focus on women and children at risk, disabled people and families.
  • increase the number of places within the refugee quota for large-scale refugee crisis situations from July next year from 100 to 200 a year to maintain flexibility to respond to a new global refugee crisis
  • increase the sub-category for women at risk from a minimum of 75 places a year to a minimum of 150 a year.

“We knew changes needed to be made and today’s announcements reflect the priority this Government gives to people who need refugee assistance,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.

The majority of refugees resettled in New Zealand through the Refugee Quota Programme are resettled as family groups.