Decision due next year on new refugee quota

9:36 am on 28 December 2015

The government is due to decide by the middle of next year whether to increase the refugee quota or change the countries it accepts refugees from.

Afghan refugees at the Mangere Refugee Centre in Auckland.

Afghan refugees at the Mangere Refugee Centre in Auckland. Photo: AFP

The annual quota of 750 has not been raised since 1987.

The government announced in September it would accept 600 Syrian refugees as a special intake over the next two-and-a-half years, and also set aside 150 places for Syrians in the annual quota.

In 2013 Cabinet signed off the current three-year Refugee Quota Programme, which gives preference to refugees from the Asia-Pacific Region over those from Africa, South America and the Middle East.

An Immigration New Zealand spokesperson said the next three-year programme was being considered, and would include a submission on global resettlement needs and priorities from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

It said a Cabinet paper, which included the UNHCR submission, would be drafted before the government made its decision.

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