Former refugees moving into Masterton aren’t going to be settling alone.
Red Cross have announced they will be partnering up with Connecting Communities Wairarapa to support the refugees in their settlement.
Red Cross will also be the lead provider of employment support to the families.
Earlier this year Masterton was named as one of five new refugee resettlement locations as part of the government’s pledge to increase the quota to 1500 places from 2020.
New settlement locations are Masterton, Levin, Ashburton, Timaru and Blenheim.
“We have seen a huge amount of community support in the existing settlement locations we work in and expect the new locations to be no different. We look forward to working with communities and providers in each of these towns to give the best support to our newest Kiwis,” general manager of migration for Red Cross Rachel O’Connor said.
“New Zealand Red Cross already has a strong presence in the new areas – hundreds of Red Cross members and volunteers are part of the communities which will be welcoming the new arrivals. The Red Cross whanau is excited to be part of their journey in Aotearoa.”
Through its pathways to employment programme, teams will be working with people from refugee backgrounds to plan their employment, training, and career goals, and ultimately find work in New Zealand.
“Our experience also tells us that the host community plays an important role in making new residents feel at home. We encourage Kiwis to offer them a warm welcome – whether that’s by chatting to their new neighbours or sharing a meal.”
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [MBIE] announced that the organisations would provide refugee settlement support services from February 2020.
“MBIE received 24 proposals as part of the tender process, and we are satisfied that the providers selected have the capability, experience and infrastructure to deliver refugee settlement support services in the new locations,” migrant support and national refugee manager Andrew Lockhart said.
The government has proposed that refugees will begin to be settled in Masterton from May next year.
Around three to five families are expected to be settled in Masterton in the first year.