New information video for refugees

  • Lianne Dalziel

“Now You’re in New Zealand” Videos
8.30 am
Oxford Terrace Baptist Church

Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you on the occasion of the launch of Refugee Resettlement Support’s videos “Now You’re in New Zealand”.

Can I begin by acknowledging those who had the idea of producing this series of videos. Refugee Resettlement Support, worked with former refugees, who believed that video was a good medium to communicate with a range of refugees, particularly those who were not literate in their own language.

It was your combined effort that has resulted in today’s launch, and you are all to be congratulated. When I became Minister I had a vision of collaboration and co-operation between agencies, to replace the competitive model imposed on communities during the 90s. Christchurch always seems to lead the way in these matters, and today’s launch is tribute to that.

In order to support the theory of co-operation this government established a number of pilot settlement and resettlement projects throughout New Zealand, and although evaluations are not yet complete, the milestone reports have been very favourable.

The Christchurch Refugee & Migrant Centre has been a proactive organisational structure, bringing together Refugee Resettlement Support, RMS, & PEETO.

The Christchurch RMC is receiving funding under all three Pilots, and some support for this project has come from pilot 2.

I haven’t seen the videos yet, but am told there are five scenarios illustrating typical initial encounters with various services:
·How to get an Interpreter;
·Visiting the Doctor;
·Maternity Care;
·Enrolling a Child at School; and
·Home Tips (safety in the home)

Each scenario is about five minutes long and has been produced in three refugee languages (Farsi, Somali, and Amharic) with English sub-titles. Voice-overs in other languages will be arranged and added as funding comes to hand.

Women members of various refugee groups in Christchurch conceived the idea for the videos and starred in the scenarios.

This is a clear example of utilising the skills and experience of people who came to New Zealand as refugees to assist the next generation and beyond, and goes to show how much how refugee communities have to offer us in New Zealand.

Refugees have been the subject of significant media attention in recent weeks, some of it highly supportive, some, negative in the extreme. I believe that it is vital that we remember that the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees is about offering protection to people who cannot gain protection in their own country from what has been determined to be a genuine fear of persecution on one of the Convention grounds.

Protection can be seen as a shield. But it must also involve the sharing of new skills and life experiences so that a refugee’s new home, becomes truly a home. Security is not only a physical need, it is a broader human need that encompasses our mental, emotional and social well-being.

It is our privilege in New Zealand to offer a contribution to the protection needs of the world’s refugees, but we must make sure that we are welcoming and supportive of those who, afterall, did not truly choose their destination.

These videos will go a long way to making that resettlement experience as positive as it can be, and I again thank all of those involved for making it happen.