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Settlement support for migrants and refugees

08 August 2005

Strengthened settlement support for migrants and refugees

Work is underway to help migrants and refugees access information and support services to help them settle in New Zealand more easily.

The Department of Labour’s Settlement Support New Zealand will help connect migrants and refugees with agencies and services in their communities that can support their settlement.

Deputy Secretary Mary Anne Thompson says the initiative is being developed as part of the New Zealand Settlement Strategy 2004.

Settlement Support New Zealand will consist of a national network of 19 local Settlement Support initiatives around New Zealand. Work is underway to set up the first ten initiatives, and nine more will follow in 2006. The Department of Labour is facilitating the establishment and co-ordination of the national network.

Settlement Support New Zealand will identify the services being provided by government and non-government organisations in a local area. Each initiative will have a clear point of contact and referral for migrant and refugees that will direct them to where they can get assistance. This will be identified through the Settlement Support New Zealand brand.

“The initiative will help address settlement issues at a grass-roots level,” says Ms Thompson. “Historically, settlement services in New Zealand have been provided by a range of agencies, and could be better-connected. This is a commitment by government to support agencies to link with each other to improve support settlement.”

“This initiative recognises that migrants and refugees who settle successfully in New Zealand are able to make a significant contribution to New Zealand’s economic growth and become a valuable part of our local, regional and national communities.”

ENDS

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