Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (1.94 MB)

A Journey Towards Integration: An Analysis of the Roles and Responsibilities of Local and Central Governments in New Zealand to Migrants and Refugees Through Public Policy 2000-2016

Download (1.94 MB)
posted on 2021-11-23, 00:10 authored by Diver, Casey

In the last seventeen years, migrant settlement and integration policy has grown and expanded in New Zealand. While not necessarily a new concept in public policy, settlement and integration of migrants and refugees has dominated the discourse of Immigration policy in New Zealand for much of the 21st century. The topic of Immigration has become more complex and politically challenging as the world has become more interconnected and globalised. Consequently, as the public sector learned more about what settlement means in the context of migration and what programmes and services Government should deliver to newcomers and refugees, discussions have taken place to codify what responsibilities both central and local government in New Zealand have to newcomers. The central research question of this thesis has been how and why has local government’s role in delivering migrant services changed vis-à-vis the role of central government in New Zealand since 2000? By extension, how effective do community stakeholders and local authority staff perceive the current set of arrangements for delivering migrant integration and settlement services?  To answer this question, the thesis analyses the early national immigrant settlement framework and then early regional government settlement framework through its two case studies, in Auckland and Wellington. This thesis draws from a vast well of Government reports, reviews and policy recommendations, scholarly articles and academic opinions as well as interviews of current stakeholders. It charts the changing priorities of central government post-­‐‑2008, stakeholder perceptions of those arrangements and, in the context of local and central government service delivery, argues that while the first national and regional framework were focused on the social aspects of settlement, the latest frameworks have prioritised the economic aspects, as central government has learned from the results of the first framework and formulated its position on settlement services as one of leadership. This is in contrast to local government which has not yet successfully reached a consensus position. What this thesis concludes is that while the new set of arrangements has been met with mixed reception, and central government is still working on improving them, local governments in New Zealand are behind in formulating policy but based upon the findings in this thesis, have a responsibility to migrants and refugees when settling them into communities.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Political Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


McMillian, Katherine