During a year-long 'Tikanga Māori learning project', three organisations - Red Cross, Multicultural Language and Support Services (or MCLaSS) and ChangeMakers Refugee Forum - collaborated with local iwi to help refugees settle in New Zealand. New Zealand is one of 26 countries that take part in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) regular resettlement programme. Our customary annual refugee quota is 750 refugees.

The 'Tikanga Māori' project allowed over 450 refugees the opportunities to learn and understand the local iwi history, values and culture. This introduction to New Zealand helps with creating a sense of belonging. Creating links with the manawhenua allowed refugees to experience the manaakitanga of local iwi.

Konga replies that it is not just good for the refugees. He says it’s been essential for his Lower Hutt marae, Waiwhetū, and the two others that are mana whenua in the Wellington region: Te Wharewaka o Pōneke, in Wellington, and Takapuwahia in Porirua.

Find out more about the 'Tikanga Māori' project.