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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
Convention Refugees).

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.

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