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As an Approved Sponsor, your organisation 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!

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.


Eligibility of
Sponsor Groups

Eligibility of Sponsor Groups

Qualities of an Approved Sponsor Group

  • Willing to develop cultural competency to support their work.

  • Motivations to participate in a sponsorship are authentic, and they want to help sponsored refugees have a meaningful settlement experience.

  • Can demonstrate resilience and the ability to be flexible and adaptable.

  • Show willingness and intent to engage with mana whenua before the arrive of sponsored refugees and to show reciprocity for cultural support shown by mana whenua.

  • Can demonstrate they understand key requirements around child protection processes and protection of privacy.

  • Are collaborative and easy to work with.

  • Show good emotional intelligence and are willing to grow through the sponsorship programme.

Criteria for an Approved Sponsor Group


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 (HOST) is available to discuss further.

To be eligible as a community sponsorship organisation (Approved Sponsor), your organisation must meet the following criteria:

  • Your organisation is a legal entity;

  • Your organisation is able to demonstrate community outreach;

  • 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;

  • You can support sponsored 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 staff and volunteers are fully vetted by New Zealand Police;

  • Staff/volunteers have completed the ‘Fundamentals of Child Protection’ e-learning module administered by Safeguarding Children; and

  • Your organisation has developed a Child Protection Statement (these are policies and procedures for managing risk).

Responsibilities of an Approved Sponsor Group



Approved Sponsors will be responsible for the provision of community orientation on arrival and for settlement support to sponsored refugees for up to two years after arrival in Aotearoa. You need to outline your proposed plans in the Settlement Plan that you submit as part of your group's application.



Your group needs to show evidence of sufficient funds or a fundraising strategy to plan for the sponsored refugee individual/whānau's initial settlement needs.

Sponsored refugees are entitled to apply for Work and Income support. Approved Sponsors need to consider how they will fund initial settlement costs until Work and Income payments have been set up. A budget template is available on the Application Documents page to help you consider relevant costs.



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

Approved Sponsors must cover the initial costs of accommodation but are not required to pay rent for the duration of the sponsorship time. They also provide core furniture and other household goods prior to arrival.



Approved Sponsors need to evidence that they have experience of working with refugees or other vulnerable people.

They should have the networks and connections across the community to support refugees to live fulfilling and meaningful lives in New Zealand.

As it is an important part of cultural understanding, Approved Sponsors should connect refugees to te ao Māori and the history of mana whenua, including Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

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