The pilot programme  

The Government has agreed to pilot a Community Sponsorship programme for 25 refugees in 2017/18.  This pilot is designed to:

  • Provide an alternative and additional form of admission for refugees to New Zealand, to complement the annual quota.

  • Provide an additional opportunity for community organisations to actively engage in refugee resettlement, and to build local communities that welcome refugees.

  • Enable sponsored refugees to quickly become independent and self-sufficient in New Zealand.

- source: Immigration.govt.nz

This innovative programme will bring communities together and open the door for more refugees to rebuild their lives in safe spaces.  This pilot is running alongside the current government-led resettlement programme.   

But the New Zealand Government hasn’t decided whether to continue the one-year pilot programme. By taking the pledge, you will be showing that you support communities to continue to welcome refugees by moving the programme from pilot to permanent.  

Addressing the refugee crisis

There are 25.4 million refugees worldwide who need a chance to rebuild their lives in safety, but less than 1% of them get the precious spots in a government-led refugee quota programme. With this new programme, New Zealand communities can offer help to people fleeing war and persecution.   

By taking the I Welcome Pledge you can do your bit to address the refugee crisis. By pledging your support and getting the pilot renewed, more refugees will be able to resettle every year.

A win-win way to welcome refugees  

The support of sponsors will not just provide immediate relief to families in need, but will help to create stronger and more vibrant communities in New Zealand.   

When they arrive, new Kiwis will be provided with a ready-made network of people they can count on for support and friendship.   

We know it works  

Canada has had a successful community sponsorship scheme in place for almost 40 years. Together Canadians have welcomed over 300,000 refugees, in addition to the country’s regular humanitarian intake.   

While government-led resettlement programmes are essential, community sponsorship has been shown to produce even better outcomes for refugees in a shorter space of time.  


The I Welcome Pledge is proudly supported by Amnesty International New Zealand. 



0800 AMNESTY (266 3789)

Our privacy policy