World Refugee Day – 20 June 2019

“I urge you to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of refugees past and present.”

- Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

World Refugee Day, opens a new window is a global observance on 20 June every year. It is to honour all refugees and raise awareness among people to provide them support and help. This year's theme is "Step with Refugees". It urges people world-wide to come together to take a step with refugees. 

Who are refugees?

Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their home country and are not able to return there safely. This can be due to a number of factors, such as violence, war or persecution. Biographies by refugees, opens a new window in our collection tell the stories of people from different backgrounds, their courage, and the lives they have gone on to lead.


Refugees in New Zealand

New Zealand is a part of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) programme to help resettle refugees, and through this programme we resettle about 1000 refugees each year, according to Immigration New Zealand, opens a new window. Quota refugees are settled in eight regions throughout New Zealand, opens a new window, including Auckland region, Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington region, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

Library resources

Christchurch City Libraries offer a diverse range of resources for new migrants and refugees. For those for whom English is not their first language, our libraries have ESOL collections, opens a new window, made up of instructional guides, books in simple English, and often with supplementary CDs. Alternatively, the library website provides access to a number of helpful electronic resources, such as Mango Languages, opens a new window and both general, opens a new window and academic Road to IELTS, opens a new window courses.

All you need to access these resources is a library card and PIN. Joining the library is free, and can be done online or in any of our libraries. A library card will also allow the bearer access to all collections, including World Languages, opens a new window and eResources like PressReader, opens a new window for newspapers from around the world and Naxos Music Library World , opens a new windowfor world music. 


We also have Clear Pronunciation, a new eResource to help you with more natural sounding English. This course has two parts, sounds and speech. Start with part 1 sounds, and learn to recognise and produce vowels, consonants and diphthongs accurately and to tell them apart. Then move on to part 2, speech where you can learn to put the sounds of English together in natural speech.

Refugee Resettlement

New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy, opens a new window aims to improve refugee resettlement outcomes through combining efforts from government agencies, settlement partners and refugees themselves. For refugees, a good understanding of occupation and employment, the educational system, healthcare practices, housing in New Zealand can contribute to their success in social and economic integration and full participation in New Zealand life. The information on these aspects can be found on the following websites.

National, regional and local refugee services organizations provide resettlement services to facilitate refugees' adaptation to work, study and life in New Zealand. They are as follows.

Refugees settling in Christchurch can use CINCH, Community Information Christchurch, opens a new window, to search for organizations providing various resettlement services in Christchurch.

This blog post is written by George Kitson, Teresa Parker and Hong Wang from the Diversity Group of the Linwood Library Team.