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Summit To Amplify Community Voices And Solutions In Lead Up To World Refugee Day

With World Refugee Day just days away, key agencies from the Auckland resettlement sector are calling for fair and equitable policies, support structures and resources, to enable all forced migrant/former refugees to be self-sufficient and thrive in their new home of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Auckland Resettlement Sector Steering Group (ARSSG) will this week bring together over 100 changemakers from community, government, resettlement sector and academia, including resettled community members from across Aotearoa. These changemakers will explore system wide solutions, at the Tūmanako Summit: Creating opportunity for resettled communities in Aotearoa, June 16 & 17.

The summit will investigate what needs to change so people from forced migrant/former refugee backgrounds are heard, understood, recognised and resourced.

According to ARSSG member and General Manager of Asylum Seekers Support Trust, Tim Maurice, amplifying community voices and community solutions is at the heart of the summit.

“People have had to flee their homes across the world due to conflict, disaster, persecution, violence and violations of human rights, and they want to build a brighter future in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Mr Maurice said.

“We need a resettlement strategy and approach that acknowledges the tremendous strength and resilience of people from forced migrant/refugee backgrounds and amplifies their voices, hopes and wishes so they are active partners in their resettlement journey.”

“The review of the whole of government New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy provides a unique opportunity for change,” he said.

The ARSSG, made up of Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition, Asylum Seekers Support Trust, Belong Aotearoa, English Language Partners New Zealand, New Zealand Red Cross, Refugees as Survivors New Zealand and the Connected Communities Unit of Auckland Council, is calling for the review of the whole of government New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy to:

  1. Actively involve people with lived experience as co-design/re-design partners.
  2. Explore opportunities of how Māori view their roles in leading, welcoming and integrating forced migrants/former refugees to Aotearoa, and identify new forms of relationship building and partnership.
  3. Recognise all forced migrants/former refugees (people seeking asylum, convention, family reunification and quota) as equals that all receive long term, strength-based, resettlement services based on their needs, from culturally and linguistically appropriate agencies.
  4. Prioritise the specific standards, policies, practices and attitudes that are needed to increase cultural competency, quality of services and better outcomes for forced migrant/refugee background communities.
  5. Sustainably resource and fund the New Zealand resettlement sector (who provide the core social infrastructure for families and communities), to meet the needs of forced migrant/former refugee community members.

Abann Yor, CEO of Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition, explained that the summit is informed by the voices of 126 community members across ARCC’s 24 member organisations.

“We engaged and consulted our members. People were hopeful that if resettled community members work together with government, tangata whenua, service providers and the wider community towards the solutions of Heard, Understood, Recognised and Resourced, newcomers will be able to integrate and thrive in Aotearoa New Zealand.”


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