Refugee & Migrant Service
Hutt City Council, at a meeting last week, voted to make an immediate contribution of $9000 to the Refuge & Migrant Service to enable it to continue offering services until June 2002. Council also voted to make a further contribution up to $9000 depending on the success of public fundraising.
Hutt City Mayor John Terris said the Council recognised the valuable contribution to the city's social, ethnic and cultural life that refugees brought, but also drew attention to the underfunding of the Service by central government.
This resulted in the Service having to temporarily suspend services for six months.
"This Council recognises the vital role the RMS plays in providing the welcoming and resettlement process for new settlers in Hutt City and it is very important that new settlers are given every assistance possible," said Mayor Terris.
"Council's resolutions reflect our belief that Council must take the lead on this issue and ensure basic services continue, however, we also believe the community must show its support for the service. Our assistance is temporary pending restoration of central government support for this vital service."
"Refugees have escaped from truly terrifying circumstances where their lives are constantly in danger. The very least we can do is ensure they have enough resources to begin to rebuild their lives and contribute to the ethnic and cultural diversity that makes Hutt City a great place to live and bring up a family."
Since 1994 1000 refugees from 26 countries have been resettled in Hutt Valley.