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New Zealand refugee quota to increase to 1,500 in 2020

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Staff Writer | September 20, 2018
New Zealand will lift the refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 within this political term, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Wednesday.
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World   Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
"This is the right thing to do. It fulfils New Zealand's obligation to do our bit and provide a small number of people, displaced by war and disaster each year, a place to call home," Ardern said in a statement.

The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, the government will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services, Ardern said.

"Refugees become great citizens, who bring valuable skills and experience to New Zealand and help make our country a more diverse and vibrant place," she said.

For 30 years New Zealand's refugee quota sat at 750 people per year, leading to calls to double the quota. In 2016 the previous government announced an increase to the quota to 1,000, which took effect in 2018.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the quota increase was made possible through a significant boost in funding for refugee services in Budget 2018.

This included money to build and operate two new accommodation blocks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Center to extend the lifespan of the complex, meet the demands of the current intake of 1,000 and help enable an increase in the refugee intake, Lees-Galloway said.

An additional six settlement locations will also be needed around New Zealand on top of the recent re-establishment of Christchurch as a settlement location, he said.

"Additional resources will also be provided to ensure that quota refugees are able to live in safe, secure, healthy and affordable homes which best suit their assessed needs," the minister said.