March 2022. Safe start. Fair Future 2 Pager
Tue March 15th 2022
The time for change is now: it has been almost a decade since the first New Zealand Refugee
Resettlement Strategy (NZRRS) charted a course for good settlement practice for refugees arriving
through the Quota programme. Despite plans for inclusion at the time, this strategy does not yet
cover those who are (or become) refugees through seeking asylum within New Zealand (referred to as
Safe Start. Fair Future details long overdue policy changes to ensure fair and safe treatment
of asylum seekers and Convention Refugees. In the coming months, this report will be
shared with the sector and decision makers to seek commitments that will improve
outcomes as recommended in the report and summarised, in two sections, below.
A key opportunity will emerge in April 2022 when the New Zealand Refugee Resettlement
Strategy (NZRRS) is reviewed for the first time in ten years. At present, many refugees are
excluded from the strategy. Now is the time to fix this. Let’s make things fair and
straightforward: a refugee is a refugee, and we should treat them all the same.
The present moment presents a critical opportunity to support people who are already in
Aotearoa and connect them to existing services. These changes will not change the
numbers of asylum seekers, have minimal anticipated costs and likely long term social
cohesion benefits. We cannot wait another decade. Now is the time to improve settlement
futures and ensure that all refugees get a fair go.