7 February 2019

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson has welcomed the Coalition Government’s decision to include Masterton as one of five new refugee resettlement locations.

“This is something many in the community have been pushing for and it’s a positive milestone to be confirmed as a resettlement location. I congratulate the local Refugee Resettlement Group that formed to see this come to fruition.

“It’s difficult to express how proud I am that people displaced by war and disaster will be able to call Masterton home in the future,” Mayor Patterson said.

“This is a great opportunity for Masterton to play a role in helping the Government fulfil its refugee quota programme and provide a home to those that need the support of a caring community.

“Today’s announcement is the start of a thorough process focused on ensuring our community is prepared to welcome refugees. It includes ensuring there is housing for refugees and people available within our community to support refugees.”

Refugees only depart the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre when there is accommodation secured. The Government has proposed that refugees will begin to be settled in Masterton from May 2020. Around three to five families are expected to be settled in Masterton in the first year.

“We will be working with all the relevant government departments and agencies over the next year to ensure we are ready to welcome and support refugees,” Mayor Patterson said.

More information on the Refugee Resettlement Strategy is available at https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/what-we-do/our-strategies-and-projects/refugee-resettlement-strategy