Settlement services

Immigration New Zealand works with agencies across government to provide effective settlement services, tailored to the needs of specific groups of migrants.

We want recent migrants to achieve good settlement outcomes across all 5 outcome areas of the New Zealand Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy .

We support a range of free services, programmes and initiatives for each settlement outcome. These are delivered either by government agencies, or by third-party providers.

How we support migrants

How we fund settlement services

Education and training

Bilingual support workers in schools

The Bilingual support workers in schools programme supports refugee and migrant students who are beginning to learn English. Bilingual support workers help migrant students to access mainstream curriculum programmes, and may liaise between the school and the students’ families and communities. This service is delivered by the Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Education website

English language

ESOL in schools

ESOL in schools supports schools to teach English to non-English speaking migrant students and to support these students to access the curriculum. Schools use allocated funding to hire specialist support teachers and teacher aides and to pay for resources. This service is delivered by the Ministry of Education.

ESOL funding | Ministry of Education

ESOL for adults

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funds a range of ESOL literacy and numeracy programmes that migrants can access. We have developed a tool to help migrants find a programme near them.

Find an English language class | Live and Work New Zealand


Migrant participation in host communities

We fund community-based organisations to deliver initiatives that support interaction between recent migrants and other New Zealanders by offering encouragement and opportunities for migrants to build connections. Examples are Volunteering New Zealand's Migrant Volunteering Programme and the Auckland Harbour Sport ActivAsian youth volunteering programme.

Migrant volunteering programme | Volunteering New Zealand

ActivAsian volunteering programme | Harbour Sport

Cross-government Intercultural Competence Development programme (Pilot)

We are developing a pilot programme to enhance state sector employees’ intercultural competence, including their ability to apply an intercultural lens in their work and to interact and communicate effectively and appropriately within their workplaces and with the communities they serve. The pilot programme will provide an interactive online e-learning module on intercultural competence.

Telephone and video interpreting services 

Telephone and video interpreting services are free and used by most government agencies, some doctors, and city councils. Telephone interpreting is available in over 104 languages at any time of the day or night.

To get an interpreter:

  • visit or phone the agency you need to talk to
  • ask for an interpreter and the language you want.

You will be asked to wait — please do not hang up the phone. A professional interpreter will join you on the phone to help you talk to the agency.

Welcoming Communities

We are piloting the Welcoming Communities initiative with local councils in 12 regions. With a focus on the receiving community, this initiative focuses on supporting residents and local government to take a greater role in ensuring the local community is welcoming towards migrants and refugees.

Welcoming Communities

Tackling Casual Racism

Tackling Casual Racism is a social media campaign. It aims to build New Zealanders’ understanding and acceptance of New Zealand’s rapidly increasing diversity, and aims to create a culture in which racist and discriminatory attitudes and behaviours are considered unacceptable by a majority of New Zealanders.

Phase 1 — #ThatsUs — was delivered in 2016/17.

Phase 2 — Give nothing to racism — is a set of videos about tackling racism, which feature film director Taika Waititi. The campaign is led by the Human Rights Commission.

ThatsUs website

Give nothing to racism website

Health and wellbeing

Community Safety Patrols

The NZ Police Community Safety Patrols initiative involves migrant volunteers participating in community patrols and working alongside the police to help migrants to feel safer in their communities and more comfortable about asking for help. The patrols are also a recruitment channel to help broaden police diversity. Patrols are now operating successfully in Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton.