Legal service may also turn away refugees

9:41 am on 26 February 2016

A free legal service that helps refugees is the latest group to warn it may have to turn away new Syrian arrivals due to lack of funding.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Hutt Union Health told RNZ it will turn away 30 Syrian refugees who arrive today, due to lack of funding.

The GP service said it took the "heartbreaking" decision at an emergency board meeting last night.

Ninety Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in Wellington today.

The expected influx will also put pressure on the legal services provided by Community Law Centres services, said chief executive Liz Tennet.

She told Morning Report that her service did not want to turn people away, but they struggled to provide for existing clients on their current funding.

"But quite honestly, is that the sort of thing we have to do for the authorities to understand the pressure that is put on not-for-profit organisations like our own, who are working very hard with people on the ground and frontline services, with increased demand and reduced services?

Ms Tennet said Community Law had recieved no funding increase for eight years.

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