First Syrian refugees arrive in New Zealand

First Syrian refugees arrive in New Zealand
The first tranche of Syrian refugees are to arrive to New Zealand’s shores today.

The first contingent will get a ministerial welcome at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre.

Among the 150 entering New Zealand will be 82 Syrians, all of whom have been screened by the UNHCR.

Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse is expecting they will draw some attention.

"I think there’s been so much attention on the terrible events going on in Syria and also the calls for New Zealand to do more in respect to Syrian refugees, so there’s quite a bit of attention on them."

Mr Woodhouse said one in five refugees referred to New Zealand under United Nations auspices aren’t making it to our shores.

While unable to give specifics about the group now entering the country, Mr Woodhouse says about 20 percent of the refugees referred by UNHCR, in any intake, don’t end up coming to New Zealand.

"They may be questions about their identity or security, there may be preferences for family links somewhere else that prevent New Zealand from being the right place for them. But there is a robust process to make sure that this is the right thing to occur."

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