Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has announced a new partnership with HOST Aotearoa New Zealand to deliver an extended pilot of New Zealand’s community refugee sponsorship programme.
Under this programme, 150 refugees will be sponsored to resettle in communities throughout New Zealand over the next three years.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunities that this partnership will bring to refugees who want to resettle in New Zealand,” says Fiona Whiteridge, General Manager Refugee and Migrant Services Immigration New Zealand.
“Community sponsorship offers a different pathway, where refugees are supported by community organisations throughout the country.”
“We’re excited about the role that local communities will be able to play in helping shape the experiences and settlement of refugees as they begin their new lives in New Zealand.”
HOST Aotearoa New Zealand will be a key partner for the refugee sponsorship programme, working with Immigration New Zealand to implement refugee sponsorship until 2024.
HOST Aotearoa New Zealand will support community groups and refugees throughout the journey, helping them navigate the processes and ensuring the right supports are in place for sponsored refugees and approved sponsors
About community refugee sponsorship
Community refugee sponsorship allows approved New Zealand-based community organisations to apply to sponsor refugees and support their settlement in the community.
After a successful pilot in 2018 which saw four approved community sponsors resettle 24 sponsored refugees in New Zealand, the Government agreed to extend the programme for a further three years from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2024. A total of 150 sponsored refugees will be resettled in New Zealand over three financial years with the support of approved community sponsors.
Approved sponsors provide support to sponsored refugees during their first two years in New Zealand, providing connections and practical advice to those adjusting to their new lives in the country. These sponsors will help former refugees secure appropriate rental housing, enrol in education and health services, access employment opportunities and connect with their new community.