New Zealand Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy

The New Zealand Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy (the Strategy), approved by Cabinet in 2014, is the Government’s approach to effectively settle and integrate migrants in New Zealand so that they “Make New Zealand their home, participate fully and contribute to all aspects of New Zealand life.”

The Strategy recognises that New Zealand gains the best economic and social benefits from migrants when they settle here successfully.

The Strategy identifies five measureable settlement and integration outcomes:

 Employment:   Working-age migrants have work that matches their skills and New Zealand-ready qualifications.
 Education and Training:   Migrants achieve educational and vocational qualifications.
 English Language:   Migrants confidently use English in their daily lives.
 Inclusion:           Migrants participate in and have a sense of belonging in their community and to New Zealand.
 Health and wellbeing:    Migrants enjoy healthy lives and feel confident and safe.

Employment and education and training are the key outcomes for the Strategy reflecting their importance to successful migrant settlement and migrants’ ability to maximise their economic contribution to New Zealand.  However all five outcomes are strongly interconnected and contribute to the Strategy’s main aim, as well as to each other.

Measuring the Strategy’s success

The success of the Strategy is measured across the five outcomes through 16 indicators. A dashboard report on the 16 success indicators is updated annually with the latest data available.

Settlement Strategy Dashboard report PDF 422KB

Settlement Strategy Supplementary Report PDF 1MB

New Zealand Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy

Strategy priority migrant groups

Funding for settlement services is prioritised for newcomer skilled migrants who make the largest potential economic contribution. These are:

  • Skilled Migrant Category visa holders.
  • Skilled Temporary visa holders in the following categories:
    • Essential Skills visa holders in skilled employment.
    • Work to Residence visa holders in the Accredited Employer and Long Term Skill Shortage List categories.
    • Former international students on Post Study Work Visas with a NZQF at level 7 or above.
  • The partners and families of the above groups.

All migrants are priorities for receiving settlement information.

Implementing the Strategy

Immigration New Zealand leads the cross-government implementation of the Strategy. Agencies across government have committed to work together to ensure government resources are targeted to deliver results effectively across all of the Strategy outcomes.  

The Government provides a range of settlement services and information that help recent migrants to settle successfully in New Zealand. The services and information are provided by a number of government agencies and through non-governmental organisations.  

During 2016, INZ led a new, collaborative, cross-agency funding allocation process to identify the settlement funding priorities. New  initiatives aimed at enhancing the Strategy outcomes include:

  • Work Connect, a career-mentoring programme successfully piloted by Careers New Zealand in Auckland during 2016/17. During 2017 Work Connect was expanded in Auckland and now operates in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
  • Reframed Regional Skills Matching and Job Search Assistance programmes are now administered by MBIE to provide a greater national coverage and build connectivity between job-seeking migrants, such as partners and spouses of skilled migrants, and employers that need their skills.
  • The Ministry of Education’s Bilingual Support Worker programme for refugee school students is to expand to support migrant students who are in the early stages of English language learning.
  • The NZ Police Community Safety Patrols initiative which won a 2017 IPANZ Public Sector Excellence Award. The patrols involve migrant volunteers participating in community patrols, working alongside the Police to help migrants feel safer in their communities and more comfortable about asking for help. The patrols are also a recruitment channel to help broaden Police diversity.  After the pilot phase in 2016, patrols are now operating successfully in Wellington and have been extended to Christchurch and Hamilton.
  • The Tackling Casual Racism social media campaign led by the Human Rights Commission which began in 2016 with #ThatsUs. #ThatsUs invited Kiwis to share their personal stories about racism, intolerance and hatred, as well as their hopes for the future of New Zealand. In June of this year the HRC launched phase two of the campaign, Give nothing to racism, featuring film director Taika Waititi.
  • INZ is also piloting the Welcoming Communities initiative with local councils in five regions. With a focus on the receiving community, the initiative will support local government to take a greater role in ensuring the local community is welcoming towards migrants and refugees.

ThatsUs website

Give nothing to racism

Work Connect

Welcoming Communities