March 2022. Safe start. Fair Future 2 Pager

November 22, 2023

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.