16 Nov 2015

Dunedin Council backs Syrian refugee push

7:55 pm on 16 November 2015

The Dunedin City Council has unanimously backed a push to bring Syrian refugees to the city.

New Zealand is taking 600 extra refugees in response to Syria's civil war and the war by the radical Islamist group ISIS.

A Dunedin Refugee Steering Group has made a submission to the Government, asking for Dunedin to be added to the five cities the Syrians will be settled in long-term.

City councillors today endorsed the submission in principle.

The mayor Dave Cull said the city was built by refugees of one wave after another from 1840, and it is time for a new wave to join them.

Other councillors asked whether the last big immigration group from Cambodia in the 1980s had actually stayed in the city, and whether there would be work for the refugees.