New Zealand assists migrants with settlement

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Immigration Minister David Cunliffe has revised the New Zealand Settlement Strategy plan to better assist migrants in getting settled in Kiwi.

"New Zealand is known as a country that embraces and celebrates diversity," Cunliffe said. "We are committed to ensuring that migrants settle well here, and the focus of this strategy is a proactive approach to supporting settlement needs.

"The wellbeing of future generations relies on transforming our economy and immigration is one of the keys to our future prosperity. Immigration has helped to shape us as a nation and contributes to building the kind of country we all want to live in," he said.

"New Zealand is in global competition for talent, with the world's top migrants having many destinations to choose from. If we want to remain globally competitive we must actively seek and retain the people we need.

"This means matching the investment made in attracting the right people with investment in supporting the best settlement outcomes," Cunliffe said.

Sixteen government agencies are involved in the plan to help newcomers to settle as quickly as possible.

"An important part of this is ensuring that newcomers feel welcome and connected to their new communities, and have supportive networks to make the most of their opportunities here. However, I also want to be clear that we are not a soft touch to those after a free ticket to our welfare system."

Cunliffe announced the Government's decision to allocate additional government funds from July 2007 to fund settlement initiatives.

"The Migrant levy helps to fund programmes, such as tailored career services to match skills and talents of newcomers to the labour market, and to support research into the impacts of settlement and immigration for New Zealand."