Australia and New Zealand have jointly agreed that New Zealand will resettle up to 150 refugees per year for three years from Australia’s existing regional processing cohort.
The resettlement arrangement will be implemented under New Zealand’s existing Refugee Quota Programme and will initially be considered for those refugees who:
- are in Nauru or are temporarily in Australia under regional processing arrangements;
- meet New Zealand’s Refugee Quota Programme requirements;
- are referred to New Zealand by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and
- are not engaged in other third country resettlement pathways, such as the United States resettlement arrangement.
Australian Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said Australia’s strong border protection policies had not changed and that no one who attempted to travel to Australia illegally by boat would ever settle here.
“This arrangement does not apply to anyone who attempts an illegal maritime journey to Australia in the future. Australia remains firm – illegal maritime arrivals will not settle here permanently. Anyone who attempts to breach our borders will be turned back or sent to Nauru,”
Minister Andrews said.
“I would like to thank Minister Faafoi for engaging so constructively with me throughout this process, I’m pleased that our two countries were able to reach this agreement. Australia will continue to work with New Zealand, and the UNHCR, to operationalise the arrangement.”
New Zealand Minister for Immigration Kris Faafoi said the long-standing offer reflects New Zealand and Australia’s close relationship.
“New Zealand is very pleased that Australia has taken up the offer to resettle up to 150 refugees annually for three years,” Hon Kris Faafoi said.
“New Zealand has a long and proud history of refugee resettlement and this arrangement is another example of how we are fulfilling our humanitarian international commitment. We are pleased to be able to provide resettlement outcomes for refugees who would otherwise have continued to face uncertain futures.”
All applications to resettle in New Zealand will undergo the same comprehensive screening and Refugee Quota Programme assessment processes – including credibility, security, risk and biometric checks and health assessment – that New Zealand applies to all UNHCR-referred refugees.