Immigration New Zealand not meeting refugee quota

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 24 October 2011

New Zealand has met its stated refugee intake target of 750 just once in the past six years, according to documents obtained under the Official Information Act. The figures suggest that 327 asylum seekers have missed out on receiving a New Zealand visa between 2005 and 2011 despite the allocated humanitarian places.

New Zealand immigration authorities said the refugee intake numbers revealed in the documents are consistent with an agreement between the New Zealand Government and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) whereby the actual intake can drop to as low as 675.

Refugee Services chief executive Heather Hayden said that government policy cannot be solely blamed for a shortfall in refugee grants.

"Sometimes travel arrangements can't be made or there is a hitch in medical clearance," she explained.

"There is a constant juggle of getting the right number".

Refugee advocates have reacted strongly to the release of the figures. New Zealand Refugee Council President Dr Nagalingam Rasalingam said he was "completely shocked" that New Zealand's refugee intake has repeatedly fallen short of the stated target.

The New Zealand Government announced earlier this year that introduce a "rolling quota" whereby the intake can be spread over three years and be dependent on timely national circumstances.

New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.