Increase in refugee intake welcome news

7 September 2015

The Prime Minister’s announcement today is welcome news to those who supported increasing the country’s refugee intake, including mayors around New Zealand.

The Government announced today that New Zealand will take an additional 600 Syrian refugees over the next two and a half years. The annual refugee quota will be reviewed separately next year.

After discussion last week with Wellington City Council and Housing New Zealand, Acting Mayor Justin Lester was told that the Wellington region had the capacity to take more refugees.

On Friday, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown’s office made contact with mayors around New Zealand. Mayors from Auckland, Hamilton, Gisborne, Napier, Rotorua, Rangitikei, Palmerston North, Manawatu, Masterton, Lower Hutt, Porirua, Fairlie, Southland, Invercargill, Christchurch, Dunedin and Marlborough indicated that they supported increasing New Zealand’s refugee intake. 

Deputy Mayor Lester says that the Prime Minister’s decision is “an acknowledgement of an outpouring of support from the New Zealand public.

“Wellington City Council is heartened by the support of Wellingtonians and it has been great to see positive responses from local government authorities across the country.

“It’s a great example of what can be achieved when the New Zealand public unite in support of an important issue. The increase announced today is a good starting point.”

As the capital, Wellington will play an important role in ensuring successful integration of resettled refugees into New Zealand. Deputy Mayor Lester says the council looks forward to welcoming potential new refugees to the city.