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Community Refugee Sponsorship

The Community Refugee Sponsorship (CORS) category is additional and complementary to the Refugee Quota programme and Refugee Family Support category. 

It is a category where New Zealand-based approved community organisations apply to partner with refugees to support their settlement in the community. 


Sponsored refugees are resettled directly into the community with the support of approved community organisations. 


The approved community organisations provide the support needed for sponsored refugees over a two-year period, informed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and supported by HOST as the umbrella organisation for the programme.

Global Context of Community Refugee Sponsorship

Started in Canada in the 1970s, the Canadian community sponsorship programme has successfully resettled approximately 300,000 refugees since it began.

Today many countries such as Ireland, Australia, Argentina, Spain, and the UK have used the Canadian model to design community sponsorship programmes of their own.

"With the number of people fleeing their homes growing worldwide, the role of individuals and communities at a local level to address the increasing humanitarian needs becomes increasingly critical." (UNHCR)


Find out more about Community Refugee Sponsorship globally from UNHCR: Community sponsorship | UNHCR 


In Aotearoa New Zealand, 150 refugees will be resettled by approved sponsor groups over the three-year extended pilot Community Refugee Sponsorship programme (2021 – 2024).

​Watch the video below for an introduction to the Aotearoa New Zealand programme:

Community Refugee Sponsorship in Aotearoa

The Community Refugee Sponsorship Programme enables all New Zealanders to welcome refugees to Aotearoa. The programme supports organisations and community groups to directly engage in refugee resettlement by committing to providing financial, emotional, and practical support to help newly arrived refugees integrate into life in Aotearoa New Zealand.

HOST is the umbrella organisation for the extended pilot of the Community Refugee Sponsorship (CORS) programme, and works in co-design with Immigration New Zealand on the delivery and implementation of the three-year extended pilot.

Meeting with UNHCR

The role of HOST is to provide coaching, guidance, training and support to sponsoring organisation throughout the different stages of the extended pilot programme.

We also liaise with sponsored refugees offshore to provide information about the programme and the different processes to ensure they can make an informed decision about resettling to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Meeting with UNHCR to provide update on CORS


To find out more about the Community Refugee Sponsorship programme and how your community can get involved, click on the link below or visit

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