Every year Aotearoa New Zealand receives intakes of humanitarian migrants under the United Nations resettlement quota, asylum seekers and family reunification programmes. A lot of misinformation and fear surrounds this process, and little is known about the people who are coming to restart their lives in this country.
Many of our Resettled communities spent years in refugee camps before finally arriving in New Zealand. Some have arrived quicker, fleeing terrifying circumstances. They have been separated from friends and loved ones and have often taken unimaginable journeys to find a safe place to call home. Having arrived, the adjustment to a new culture and language presents new challenges. Finding work, socialising and learning the “lingo” are just some of the hurdles these new kiwis face.
For all of this, it is important to remember that a person is not defined by their search for refuge. The resettled community in New Zealand is made up of families and individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and what they have in common with each other is exactly what they have in common with all of us – the desire for a safe home, a future for their children and to make meaningful connections with their neighbours and colleagues.
Photographer Nando Azevedo, in collaboration with the Auckland Resettled Community Coalition (ARCC) has sought to present the faces and stories of some of a number of resettled kiwis, in order to expose New Zealanders to the wealth and diversity of these cultures.
The exhibition is part of the Auckland Festival of Photography and runs from 2 - 20 June in the Special Collections exhibition room, level 2 Auckland City Library.
A campaign to double New Zealand's refugee quota from 750 to 1500 per year has been accepted by this government. For great stories from the resettlement sector, or to find out how you can be involved, check out the following: