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Developer confirmed for refugee centre rebuild

MEDIA release

26 September 2014

Immigration New Zealand confirms developer for refugee centre rebuild

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) today signed a contract with Downer New Zealand Ltd to carry out the rebuild of the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre in South Auckland.

The plan to rebuild the centre was approved by the Government as part of the Refugee Resettlement Strategy in 2013. The Strategy is aimed at delivering better outcomes for refugees being resettled in New Zealand, including increasing the number of refugees in paid employment, increasing their educational achievement and also reducing their long-term dependency on welfare services.

INZ General Manager Settlement, Protection and Attraction Steve McGill says the centre plays a crucial role in helping refugees adapt to their new life in New Zealand but the current facility has exceeded its economic life.

“Improving the centre will help achieve the goals of the Refugee Resettlement Strategy by helping improve the experience of refugees and asylum seekers during their six week stay at Mangere when they first enter New Zealand and help to better prepare them for New Zealand life and their move into the community,” Mr McGill says.

“The current facility accommodates up to 160 individuals who typically spend six weeks onsite where they receive a range of services including improved orientation, English language classes, health screening and mental health support to help refugees resettle.

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“A preliminary design for a new and improved facility can accommodate up to 196 beds,” Mr McGill says.

“The build of the new centre will be staged to enable business-as-usual operations to continue during the construction period. The arrangement is aimed at seeing all of the new buildings being operational at the refugee centre in late 2016,” Mr McGill says.

The rebuild project will resolve the existing facility limitations by:

• contracting with the private sector to design and construct a new centre;

• consolidating the administration and communal areas at the centre into a new, purpose-built administration block which meets the requirements of a centralised reception programme;

• providing new, purpose-built accommodation blocks; and

• re-orientating the onsite buildings to make better use of the available land and provide additional capacity if required .

An artist’s impression of what the new centre will look like on completion

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