On the 18th of August at the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister for Immigration, announced that the Government will reinstate Christchurch as a place for refugee resettlement.

Since the 2010 Christchurch earthquake the damage and infrastructure to the region meant that Christchurch was unable to be a location that services refugees.

“It’s great news for refugees, New Zealand and Christchurch itself to be re-established as a refugee settlement location. It shows the city is once again able to welcome some of the world’s vulnerable people and let them be part of a fantastic place to live,” says Mr Lees-Galloway.

“We’ve been eager to bring Christchurch back as a settlement location, and after a comprehensive review the Government is satisfied the rebuild has reached a point where the infrastructure can now enable refugees to be settled in the City once again.

This signals an important milestone for the Government’s commitment to increase the number of refugees. The Government’s plan is to lift the refugee intake to 1,500 a year. This means the quota aim for Christchurch is around 60 refugees to be settled in the city over the 2018/19 financial year. Christchurch will become New Zealand’s eight resettlement city following; Auckland, Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington, Nelson, Dunedin, and Invercargill.

Christchurch Mayor Her Worship Lianne Dalziel attended the event and thanked the Minister. Ms Dalziel also made reference to the hard work by the Somalian community during the time of the earthquake. She thanked them for working tirelessly to clear liquefaction and for preparing meals for the NZ Police and other emergency services at a crucial time.

For more key information on the announcement, check out the Minister’s press release.

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