Moving to a new country is a daunting experience, especially when it is driven by a fear of returning to your home. It can be difficult to imagine an environment where your life is at risk because of your race, religion, beliefs, ethnicity, your sexual orientation, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. It is for these reasons that people become refugees and seek to find a new home.

How do refugees get to New Zealand?

New Zealand accepts up to 1,500 refugees per year through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) programme.

The UNHCR conducts close investigation of eligible candidates before submitting their files to possible host countries, such as New Zealand. These refugees do not have any influence on their resettlement destination.

Where are refugees from?

With the changing political climates around the world, where refugees are coming from changes over time. Most recently, New Zealand has welcomed refugees from 21 different countries. The countries from which most refugees have come from most recently are Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.

As we go through our programme, you will hear from our students directly about what it means to be a refugee. We will provide opportunities for you to get to know these incredibly resilient members of our community as we get started with our programme.

If you are interested in learning more about refugees in New Zealand, please take a look at some frequently asked questions on the Red Cross New Zealand website.