Supporting Refugee Background Learners 

New Zealand welcomes 1500 quota refugees per year, and after a 5-week programme at the Mangere refugee resettlement centre, former refugee children move into the community and into your schools. It is with great excitement and hopes that these children join your communities, and their joy, resilience and culture will bring a great richness to your school. Some children of refugee background may have been in New Zealand for many years, or perhaps their parents or grandparents came to New Zealand as refugees. 

In collaboration with teachers from the Mangere Refugee Resettlement centre, we have compiled these teacher tips for welcoming former refugee students, as well as strategies for ongoing inclusion as is a right under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. If you would like further support in this area, please get in touch at 

Create a Welcome Pack - World Refugee Day 2022

Recent events have highlighted the plight of refugees around the world, but it has also highlighted the discrepancies in reporting and support that different crises receive. Here in New Zealand, along with recent arrivals from Ukraine, Aotearoa has a longstanding programme welcoming refugees from Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar, Colombia, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and many other places.

This year for World Refugee Day and beyond, we want to ensure refugee children from all places receive an equally warm welcome to Aotearoa. We are asking our school communities to create welcome packs or videos with important information about school in Aotearoa for our newest New Zealanders.

Suggested ideas for a welcome pack or video:

  • A welcome to Aotearoa letter or video
  • Photos or a tour of a New Zealand school
  • Tips for getting ready for school
  • Packing your school bag
  • School uniforms
  • Tips for making friends
  • New Zealand culture
  • Māori greetings and phrases

Not only is this a great literacy and digital technology activity, it is a valuable way for children to take real action to support other children. These welcome packs and videos will be shared with our partners at the Māngere Refugee Resettlement centre, who will share these with the children to help them prepare for school transition. Download the resources below for more information on getting involved.

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