How we support migrants

The New Zealand Migrant Settlement and Integration strategy supports recent migrants to make New Zealand their home, participate fully in and contribute to all aspects of New Zealand life.

Recent migrants are those who have lived in New Zealand for 5 years or less.

Our strategic approach

The New Zealand Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy (the Strategy) is the Government’s approach to effectively settle and integrate migrants into New Zealand. Cabinet approved the Strategy in 2014.

Our settlement work is guided by the Strategy’s 5 key outcome areas: Employment, Education and training, English language, Inclusion, and Health and wellbeing. All 5 outcomes are strongly interconnected and essential if migrants are to settle successfully. For example:

  • migrants with good English language skills and good health are able to participate more fully in employment, and
  • migrants with appropriate education and training make social connections more easily, which supports their wellbeing and inclusion.

Successful settlement

Well-supported migrants:

  • settle and feel included faster
  • stay longer in New Zealand
  • help create a strong and vibrant community
  • help boost regional growth and wellbeing
  • find it easier to participate in and contribute to economic, civic and social life.

What we want to achieve

Each outcome area has specific aims that help migrants to meet their settlement challenges and needs, and a set of outcome indicators (approved by Cabinet in 2014) that we can use to measure progress over time.


We want working-age migrants to have work that matches their skills and New Zealand-ready qualifications — that is, overseas qualifications assessed and recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), and by the professional body.

What progress looks like

  • The proportion of employed skilled migrant category applicants and their partners with occupations in New Zealand that match their skills and New Zealand-ready qualifications is increasing.
  • The migrant employment rate is similar to the New Zealander rate.
  • The numbers of international students transitioning from study to residence with Bachelors level qualifications and above is increasing.

Education and training

We want migrants to achieve educational and vocational qualifications.

What progress looks like

  • The proportion of migrant school leavers achieving NCEA Level 2 or higher after 5 years in the New Zealand education system is increasing.
  • The proportion of 25- to 64-year-old recent migrants with a Level 4 or higher qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework is increasing.

Understanding New Zealand Qualifications | New Zealand Qualifications Authority

English language

We want migrants to confidently use English in their daily lives.

What progress looks like

  • More migrants are taking up pre-paid English language tuition.
  • More migrant children are using school-funded English language support.
  • More migrants with English language needs are using TEC-funded English language support.
  • The proportion of recent migrants who can have a conversation about everyday things in English is increasing.


We want migrants to participate in and have a sense of belonging to their community and to New Zealand.

What progress looks like

The proportion of recent migrants:

  • who belong to social networks and groups (including sports groups) is increasing
  • with residence who vote in local authority elections and in general elections is increasing
  • who feel a sense of belonging to New Zealand is increasing
  • who have experienced discrimination in New Zealand is decreasing.

Health and wellbeing

We want migrants to enjoy healthy lives and feel confident and safe.

What progress looks like

  • The proportion of recent migrants who are enrolled with primary health organisations is increasing.
  • The proportion of recent migrants who feel safe in New Zealand is increasing.
  • Fewer recent migrants are victims of crime.

How we achieve good settlement outcomes

Immigration New Zealand leads the work to implement the Strategy and achieve good settlement outcomes for migrants. To ensure we continue to meet migrant needs and improve services we collaborate with others, share best practice and monitor outcomes.

How we measure success

Settlement strategy poster PDF 2MB

Who we work with

We work with:

  • government agencies that can contribute specialist expertise, like the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health
  • non-government organisations that can support migrant settlement outcomes, like the Chambers of Commerce
  • local communities and councils that want to create welcoming and inclusive environments for newcomers
  • local government, regions and employers of recent migrants, to help them plan for, attract and retain migrant workers with the skills they need.

The Refresh Project

We are refreshing the NZ Refugee Resettlement Strategy (NZRRS) to ensure it continues to effectively support successful settlement in the future, as well as providing the agility to respond to changes in the settlement environment.

The refresh will focus on reviewing the success indicators of both the NZRRS and NZ Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy (NZMSIS) to ensure they are still fit for purpose. We also want to make sure they reflect successful settlement outcomes sought by government and communities.

The NZ Migrant Settlement Integration Strategy and NZ Refugee Resettlement Strategy Refresh Project

Services and information

Together we provide settlement information, services, tools and resources tailored to the needs of migrants and their employers.

Information and services are delivered by government agencies, or by third-party providers.