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Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse will today travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as part of an Immigration NZ (INZ) selection mission to interview refugee cases who have been submitted for resettlement in New Zealand by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

“In addition to the UNHCR’s own screening process, all refugee cases submitted for consideration undergo robust assessments as part of INZ’s decision-making process,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“This trip is an opportunity for me to observe those refugee interviews undertaken by INZ staff and gain an insight into the important work INZ staff do on refugee quota selection missions.

“Selection mission interviews focus on credibility, risk and settlement to ensure that the person is not a security risk or character of concern to New Zealand, and that settlement in New Zealand is the right option for them.

“This work is an integral part of ensuring that those refugees who are resettled in New Zealand do not pose a risk to the country and that they are well prepared to settle in the communities.”

Mr Woodhouse will also meet with UNHCR staff at their office in Kuala Lumpur, as well as visit a number of centres that provide education and health support to refugees.

Mr Woodhouse departs for Kuala Lumpur this evening and returns on Saturday 28 January.

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