Concerns Mounting Over Queenstown Refugee Crisis: The Salvation Army

Published: Tue 21 Apr 2020 12:54 PM
The Salvation Army has mounting concerns over what is becoming a refugee crisis in Queenstown.
Many migrant workers, who fill a large proportion of hospitality and tourism jobs in the town, have found themselves unable to travel back home, without a job, and with no form of support, yet still having to pay large rent bills.
The Salvation Army joined with Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult and the Queenstown branches of the Citizens Advice Bureau and Chamber of Commerce in calling for the Government to allow migrants to access the Job Seeker Allowance during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The district’s QLDC-led Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has received more than 5,000 requests for welfare assistance from members of the community facing significant hardship due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to which The Salvation Army has mobilised in response.
However, short-term welfare will not resolve an ongoing issue for vulnerable migrants, The Salvation Army Queenstown Director of Community Ministries Lieutenant Andrew Wilson says.
“Giving food parcels and material goods is like putting a band-aid on the Titanic. Many migrants cannot return home, either because their country is in total lockdown or they do not have the resources to pay for flights.
“We've had one case where the individual was made redundant two weeks before the level 4 lockdown. They had booked flights to return to their home country but their flight was cancelled at the last minute. They are now stuck here with no means of returning home but is still required to pay for rent and outgoings.”
“We have seen a 600 percent increase in requests for services since the lockdown began. These have typically been requests for food parcels and winter clothing and bedding,” Lt Wilson says.
Salvation Army
Caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society.
The Salvation Army is an international movement and an evangelical branch of the Christian Church that expresses its ministry through a range of spiritual and social programmes. Our operational headquarters for New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga is in Wellington, New Zealand.
Contact Salvation Army
Physical Address:
202 Cuba Street, Marion Square, Wellington 6141
Media Contact:
Postal Address:
Po Box 6016, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Next in New Zealand politics

Government and Air NZ agree to manage incoming bookings
By: New Zealand Government
New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways
By: New Zealand Government
David Clark resigns as Health Minister
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Proposes Transformational Poverty Action Plan
By: Green Party
New protection for dolphins
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
By: New Zealand Government
Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology
By: New Zealand National Party
Labour will extend loan scheme 'lifeline' for small business - PM
Winston Peters on EU travel: 'We're not going to compromise our country's health'
Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-start COVID Rebuild
By: New Zealand Government
Government Strengthens Managed Isolation System
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Announces List For 2020 General Election
By: ACT New Zealand
Air New Zealand Limits Capacity On Inbound International Services
By: Air New Zealand
Border Lockdown Shows Labour Governing For Labour
By: ACT New Zealand
Cash Boost For Wairarapa Waterways
By: Marcus Anselm - Local Democracy Reporter
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media