WelCom October 2018:
The annual refugee quota will lift from 1000 to 1500 by 2020, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern announced at Parliament on 21 September 2018.
The announcement fulfils a Labour campaign promise to raise the quota within their first term of Government. The quota increase will take place in July 2020.
The previous National government had in 2016 increased the annual refugee quota for the first time since 1987, from 750 a year to 1000, which came into effect in 2018.
Making the announcement Ms Ardern said, ‘This is the right thing to do. It fulfils New Zealand’s obligation to do our bit and provide a small number of people, displaced by war and disaster each year, a place to call home.’
Commenting on the quota increase, Amanda Calder, Chairperson Refugee Family Reunification Trust, Wellington, said, ‘Accepting more refugees is the right thing for New Zealand to do, especially when the rest of the world is struggling to cope with a refugee crisis. This is saving lives.’
Dave Olivier, Director of Archdiocese of Wellington Catholic Social Services, said, ‘My hope is that the funding and settlement process currently available will be dramatically improved as the existing resources and settlement processes are not helping those on the ground who work with refugee resettlement. Services such as ours, social workers, schools and other NGOs end up having to provide much larger support to assist people post settlement. Most refugee settlers have less than five months support and many struggle to cope as a result.’
Project Manager for the Diocese of Palmerston North, Dave Mullin, said, ‘The announcement that the quota of refugees to be welcomed into New Zealand is increasing is great news. The hope is our communities are places of welcome for all who settle and make New Zealand home. We also look forward to the day our parishes can be more involved in the resettlement process and support even more refugees and their families into communities.’