Aspirational yet precarious: compliance of New Zealand refugee settlement policy with international human rights obligations
journal contributionposted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Christopher Mahony, J Marlowe, L Humpage, N Baird
New Zealand has ratified many of the same international instruments instructing resettled refugees' rights as other resettlement countries. However, New Zealand has adopted broad strategies with little policy specificity or funding to ensure settling refugees' rights are upheld. In examining selected rights, this article demonstrates that New Zealand refugee policy remains aspirational yet precarious in two main ways. First, refugee pathways to protection, via the UN quota system or as Convention refugees, significantly affect both settlement support and family reunification. Second, policy implementation is often inconsistent and, at times, discriminatory, because economic, social and cultural rights are inadequately embedded into New Zealand's human rights framework. It is thus difficult to claim that New Zealand consistently and sufficiently meets its international obligations, despite the aspirations articulated within New Zealand's recently developed Refugee Resettlement Strategy.