Hundreds of New Zealanders have pledged to help with the international refugee crisis, with many offering up their homes.

Wanting to personally help in any way he could, Taranaki resident Urs Signer started a Facebook event last night called "Open homes - open borders - we will host a refugee - Aotearoa".

So far the event has more than 600 people listed as "Going" - with many posting messages pledging to host a refugee at their home.

Mr Signer said the event had received an "amazing outpour of solidarity and love".


"Millions of people are currently fleeing from war-torn countries. It is a huge humanitarian crisis and it is our duty to help and support where we can."

READ MORE: The harrowing image of drowned three-year-old boy shows tragedy of refugee crisis

He said while the Government had been opposed to raising the refugee quota, people from all walks of life had come forward to say that refugees were welcome here by offering up spare rooms and sleep-outs.

"An East Coast marae has pledged to accommodate 30 refugees," he said.

"Governments are failing to respond to this crisis. It is up to us to stand in solidarity with our fellow humans by contributing to the efforts to raise the quota and ultimately get rid of the quota altogether, volunteering with local refugee centres and raising funds for groups offering support in Europe and the Middle East."

Rachael Goldsmith, who lives in Invercargill, is one of those who has offered to help.
She wrote on the page: "I've got two spare beds, all the clothing any woman and child would need, and plenty of room out the back yard for a moveable cabin. I don't have much, but I don't care, because they have nothing and nowhere. I'll happily take a family."

Stacey Lene wrote: "We are still waiting on EQC for repairs to our house (first world problems I know) and our 5 young daughters share 2 bedrooms, but we would happily share our home with a displaced family (preferably with young children).

"I am an English and life skills tutor and my husband is a tradie, so we have the ability to help a displaced family integrate into NZ society."

Others posted messages saying they did not have room to host a refugee, but would happily help by providing them with food, furniture, clothing and other basic needs.
Some offered to help the refugees learn English.

Similar social-media movements have sprung up around the world, including in Iceland where about 15,000 Icelanders have joined a Facebook group launched by a prominent author after the government said it would only take in a handful of refugees.

Like the New Zealand group, many of these people have offered to welcome Syrian refugees into their homes while others are offering to donate clothes, money, furniture, and children's toys.

The island nation of about 320,000 people originally said it would take in 50 people, but government officials have now said that the country will consider raising that number.