Dunedin has been picked as the new settlement location for refugees flocking to New Zealand shores.

A Government assessment - carried out by the New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Strategy Senior Officials' Group - chose the South Island city as a new settlement location based on its employment, housing, local community and support services.

An extra settlement location was needed following the Government's decision to allow 750 Syrian refugees in New Zealand before the end of 2018 in response to the ongoing conflict in Syria, Immigration New Zealand general manager Steve McGill said.

There are currently five spots in New Zealand where refugees are settled after a six-week reception programme: Auckland, Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington and Nelson.


Dunedin was considered alongside New Plymouth, Hastings and Napier, Invercargill and Tauranga.

"Dunedin has a strong set of services and is a well-connected city where a number of government agencies have a presence," Mr McGill said.

"There are good employment opportunities in the area, suitable housing is available and there is excellent support from the community."

Quota refugees are given permanent residence when they arrive in New Zealand spent their first six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre, completing a reception programme to support living and working in New Zealand.

The Government announced New Zealand would take 750 extra Syrian refugees over the next three years - a measure expected to cost an extra $50 million - in September this year.

The figure includes 600 in an emergency intake over and above the usual annual quota of 750.

A further 150 places would be offered with the quota over the next year. Under the plan a total of 250 will be offered by mid 2016.

After that a further 500 will come in by mid 2018, totalling 750.

The first 100 refugees will arrive in three groups in January, March and May next year.