New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy

Immigration New Zealand works with refugees to assess their health and employment options. The aim is to help refugees find work, and improve their health and education outcomes.

Approach of the Refugee Strategy

The New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy is a whole-of-government approach to delivering improved refugee resettlement outcomes. Refugees resettled into New Zealand under the Refugee Quota Programme more quickly achieve self-sufficiency, social integration and independence.

The Refugee Strategy is a holistic framework which brings together refugees’ goals for settling in New Zealand with the New Zealand Government’s vision for refugee resettlement, combining support from government agencies, settlement partners and refugees themselves.

The Refugee Resettlement Strategy PDF 1005KB

Priorities for implementation through to 2020 PDF 927KB

New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy overview PDF 181KB

Strategy outcomes

The overarching outcome is:

"Refugees are participating fully and integrated socially and economically as soon as possible so that they are living independently, undertaking the same responsibilities and exercising the same rights as other New Zealanders and have a strong sense of belonging to their own community and to New Zealand."

The overarching outcome is underpinned by five integration outcomes:

  1. Self-sufficiency: all working-age refugees are in paid work or supported by a family member in paid work.
  2. Housing: refugees live in safe, secure, healthy and affordable homes without needing government housing help.
  3. Education: refugees have English language skills that help them participate in education and daily life.
  4. Health and wellbeing: refugees and their families enjoy healthy, safe and independent lives.
  5. Participation: refugees actively participate in New Zealand life and have a strong sense of belonging here.

Measuring success

Progress in improving the integration outcomes is measured annually against seven success indicators and one target (Education) approved by the Government.  Baseline data has been established as a basis for assessing subsequent progress. 


  • Increased proportion of working-age refugees in paid employment.
  • Reduced proportion of working-age refugees receiving unemployment related benefits.

Health and wellbeing

  • Refugees’ utilisation of general practitioner services.
  • Refugees’ access to mental health services.
  • Proportion of refugee children receiving age-appropriate immunisations.


  • Proportion of refugee school leavers attaining NCEA level 2 after five years or more in the New Zealand education system.


  • A reduction in the proportion of refugees receiving housing assistance.

Refugee Strategy Implementation Dashboard 2020 PDF 565KB

Refugee Strategy Implementation Dashboard 2019/20 PDF 1MB

Refugee Strategy Implementation Dashboard for 2018 PDF 692KB

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