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More classrooms for South Auckland refugee centre

20 June 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

The Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre opened 12 new classrooms this morning after major renovations. 

New classrooms at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. Photo/ Supplied.

The South Auckland centre has undergone upgrades worth almost $7 million, including accommodation and kitchens.

Education Centre Director Maria Hayward says the new school buildings have been especially designed with lots of windows to make students feel comfortable. 

"Refugees can see us and we can see them and nothing's hidden away," she says. "They've had experiences that cause them trauma like parents being taken away or people being interrogated."

Hayward says her school teaches language and living skills to help refugee students settle into New Zealand. 

"They come with huge gratitude and enthusiasm and a total commitment to paying back the country that has given them refuge," she says.

Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. Photo/ Supplied. 

The centre accommodates 750 refugees arriving in New Zealand each year under the refugee quota system. 

Hayward says one third of the current refugee intake is from Burma, while more than half have come from Syria.

She says there is still plenty of space on the Massey Road site for more expansion. 

Children at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. Photo/ Supplied.

Tags: Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre, Maria Hayward,