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Privacy statement
Published: 20/08/2014

REFUGEES AND SETTLEMENT

Refugee groups in New Zealand and their ethnic communities are growing and diverse, in particular in the Auckland region. Pre-migration experiences lead to high health needs on arrival. Very few refugees have emerged from their experiences without having endured or witnessed some form of physical or psychological trauma. The long-term physical and psychological sequelae resulting from this exposure are a common feature of the ‘refugee experience’. Length of residence in New Zealand is associated with lifestyle changes which can result in adverse health patterns for example uptake of tobacco smoking, increasing obesity, and reduced physical activity. Refugee groups require tailored and targeted health interventions. Health services which are culturally and linguistically responsive to the refugee groups that they serve will improve access, provide early intervention and reduce avoidable hospitalisations. Current activity is focused on access to health services, interpreters and delivering culturally appropriate programmes.