New Zealand reiterates importance of settlement strategy

07 December 2004

The New Zealand government is set on improving conditions for the increased numbers of immigrants landing on the nation's shores. Speaking at a function earlier this month, Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter said the government is willing to open its wallet and make sure immigrants are given access to the same services and support as the country's own citizens.

A new immigration strategy led by Immigration Minister Paul Swain will see an increase in funding over next four years by $62.5 million. Almost $40 million will be spent to make sure people will receive education in New Zealand, $11.7 million will help establish a national network of migrant resource services, $6 million will go to the Refugee and Migrant Service, $4 million is earmarked for career and labor market advice and $1 million will go to support a national settlement secretariat in order to improve coordination between government agencies and organizations.

"Settlement is about providing conditions in which migrants and refugees can realize their full potential and build successful lives in a new home," Carter said.

"That is why we are committed to providing a better quality and better coordinated settlement service which can allow migrants and refugees to unlock their potential. It's also about a whole-of-government approach to developing settlement services."

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