To Our Place
What is this all about?
WELCOMING REFUGEES TO OUR PLACE
Ordinary kiwis can welcome refugees and help them settle into local neighbourhoods, through a new government programme called Community Sponsorship or CORS. A community group is a group of ordinary kiwis who work together to help refugees to settle in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Refugees are given residency visas on arrival which gives them free access to education, healthcare and welfare. The role of community groups is to make it easier for refugees to settle into life in New Zealand.
About Community Sponsorship
Community sponsorship has been around for several decades in Canada. It has been taken up by other countries in recent years as the global refugee crisis has worsened. Our Government set up a pilot community sponsorship programme to explore whether it could work here. Twenty-four refugees came in 2018 and they were supported by four community groups around the country.
Sponsoring a refugee is a commitment to work with your neighbours, colleagues, friends and other kiwis to create welcoming places for people that are unable to return to their homeland. The term “sponsorship” is a bit misleading as sponsorship is not a huge financial commitment: it is commitment of time, energy and using our local knowledge to welcome newcomers.
The pilot programme was so successful that the government committed to a three year extension and increased the number of places from 24 to 150. Groups can express their interest in becoming a sponsor by sending an email to CORS@mbie.govt.nz