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Refugee & Asylum Seeker Law Research Guide: New Zealand

New Zealand Refugee Statistics

RefNZ Statistics provides key New Zealand refugee statistics. Although a little out of date, this is a valuable resource. Statistics are given by year and also by gender and nationality.

UNHCR New Zealand Refugee statistics provides up to date statatistics

NZ Factsheet from UNHCR

UNHCR Resettlement Handbook - New Zealand



The principal legislation dealing with the protection of asylum seekers in New Zealand is the Immigration Act 2009. The official and most up to date version of the Act is on the New Zealand Legislation website. The relevant provisions are contained in Part Five (ss124-152) Refugee and protection status determinations.

New Zealand Refugee Law Cases

Freely available full text decisions - unreported

New Zealand refugee and asylum cases are heard in the following courts and tribunal:

  • Supreme Court
  • Court of Appeal
  • High Court
  • Immigration and Protection Tribinal (formerly the Refugee Status Appeals Authority)

Selected refugee decisions (which are usually described as 'leading' decisions) from all NZ courts and the Tribunal are available on:

  • RefWorld
  • RefNZ - this site appears not to have been updated since 2011, and the cases are in html - no pdfs of the original decisions are available - but it is still a very useful site for NZ specific refugee cases from the Tribunal and all courts.



Commentary & Journal Articles

RefNZ provides links to free full text articles and commentary on New Zealand refugee law.

The NZ Refugee Research Directory website includes recent full text annotated bibliographies and literature reviews on refugee issues - for example Rights-based approaches to mental health services with refugees: An annotated bibliography (2010)

To undertake more comprehensive research into articles on New Zealand refugee law, use the subscription databases on INFORMIT

  • select ALL DATABASES and construct a search such as "new zealand" AND refugee* using the any field option; OR
  • search the New Zealand Collection on INFORMIT  - this covers a range of subjects within a multidisciplinary context including business, education, humanities, Indigenous studies, law and social sciences. This full text Collection contains journal articles of relevance to New Zealand and the Pacific region.

A great place to start....

The Laws of New Zealand (available on Lexis Advance) is an encyclopaedic resource, and a good starting point for any research involving NZ law. It is arranged alphabetically by topic, and includes commentary, cases and legislation.

To access the refugee commentary in The Laws of New Zealand, scroll through the alphabetical topics to IMMIGRATION and then go to Part IX - Refugee Determinations.

NZ Refugee News

Newsfeed from UNHCR

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NZ Refugee Agencies

Refugee Council of New Zealand

A list of New Zealand agencies, associations and networks is available from the Aotearoa New Zealand Refugee Research Directory.