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Whanganui welcomes refugee resettlement



Today, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway joined with Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall and community groups to announce the city’s selection as a new refugee resettlement location.

“Whanganui’s economy is growing from strength to strength and I know the contribution of refugees will support the city to grow more successful still,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.

Whanganui, as well as Levin, Masterton, Blenheim and Timaru have been selected as refugee resettlement locations by the cross-government New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy Senior Officials’ Group.

The announcement delivers on the Government’s commitment to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement support services so communities are prepared well before new refugees arrive.

Whanganui has already demonstrated its preparedness by taking part in the Welcoming Communities initiative pilot programme.

“Government agencies, the local council and community groups will all play an important role in welcoming and settling in refugees,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.

“We’ve been settling refugees in New Zealand for generations. We have the experience, the resources and the expertise to do our bit and provide a small number of people, displaced by war and disaster, a place to call home.”

Refugees will begin to be settled in Whanganui, Timaru and Blenheim from March 2020 while refugees will begin arriving in Masterton and Levin from May 2020. A sixth additional location will be decided shortly. The nationalities are yet to be decided.

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