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We are excited that you are considering sponsoring a refugee in your local community.


We hope that you will find the information you need to make an informed decision.

As an Approved Sponsor, your organisation or group must show they have the skills and knowledge to support vulnerable people, that you embrace diversity and are open to other religions and cultures.

If that sounds like you, you're in the right place - keep reading!

Settlement Plan


Approved Sponsors will be responsible for the provision of community orientation on arrival and for settlement assistance and services to sponsored refugees for up to two years after arrival in New Zealand.

The settlement services are outlined in the Settlement Plan that you will be required to submit when applying for the programme.


When forming your sponsorship team, consider the types of services you’ll be required to provide, and make sure that your members have the relevant experience or expertise – or have links with other community groups in your area who can provide support.  

Sponsoring Refugees


It is important your group or organisation has evidence of sufficient funds or a fundraising strategy to plan for the sponsored refugee families’ initial settlement needs.

Although families in this programme are permanent New Zealand residents and can apply for Work and Income support, approved sponsors need to think about how they can help with additional settlement costs. A budget template has been prepared to help you consider relevant costs.

Welcoming refugees


Approved Sponsors will be responsible for finding suitable private accommodation for the sponsored refugee(s) before they arrive in New Zealand.

Approved sponsors will need to cover the initial costs of accommodation but are not required to pay rent for the duration of the sponsorship time. Approved Sponsors will need to provide core furniture and other household goods on the sponsored refugees' arrival in New Zealand.

Wider community


Approved Sponsors will need evidence of experience working with refugees or other vulnerable people. They will need to have the networks and connections across the community to support refugees to live fulfilling and meaningful lives in New Zealand.

As an Approved Sponsor, you will need to connect refugees to te ao Māori and the history of mana whenua, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This is an important part of cultivating shared cultural understanding.

Watch more below

“Sponsoring the families was a brilliant experience. […] overall, it was a pretty amazing experience. I've watched these three families settle into New Zealand and I'm just quite encouraged." 
Nick Regnault, previous sponsoring organisation

Check the following criteria for the Community Refugee Sponsorship programme to help you decide if you want to apply. The team at HOST International Aotearoa are available to discuss further.

To meet the criteria as an approved community sponsorship organisation (Approved Sponsor), your organisation must meet the following criteria:

  • Your organisation is a legal entity - such as incorporated society, registered company, charitable trust or religious organisation.

  • Your organisation is able to demonstrate community outreach and connections within the broader community.

  • Your organisation has experience working successfully with refugees or other vulnerable people.

  • You have the financial resources to provide settlement services to sponsored refugees for two years.

  • Your organisation has capability and capacity to secure suitable accommodation and support mandated refugees to enter the labour market and secure meaningful and sustainable employment.

  • You can enter into a Deed of Agreement for Services with INZ for the provision of settlement services.

  • You have ensured all personnel in your organisation are fully vetted by New Zealand Police (to support working with children and vulnerable adults and that they are suitable and of good character).

  • Your organisation has completed an eLearning course entitled ‘Fundamentals of Child Protection’ administered by Safeguarding Children; and has developed a Child Protection Statement (these are policies and procedures for managing risk).

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Is your group ready to apply?


Don't know where to start?


Have some more questions about the programme?

Contact HOST International Aotearoa New Zealand, the umbrella organisation for the CORS programme, when you are ready to get started.


The team will support you through the application process.


You can also find all the documents you will need to complete to apply on the Immigration New Zealand website: Applying to be a Sponsor | Immigration New Zealand


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