Migrant and Refugee health

Smiling mother and child of African descent.Canterbury is home to a growing number of people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Everyone who makes the decision to start life in a new country faces challenges. There are many providers available to support and help refugees and migrants when they arrive in Christchurch.

People from refugee backgrounds, migrants and their families coming to New Zealand face a range of health challenges. These can include physical, mental and social challenges.

Help is readily available from various providers including interpreting services when necessary.

Working closely with local migrant groups and organisations

Community and Public Health works with local migrant and refugee groups alongside organisations and health services to protect the health of the community.

Staff attend community meetings including:

  • Community Language and Information Group (CLING)
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Advisory Group for Primary Care
  • Health and Wellbeing Network (a subgroup of INFoRM)
  • Interagency Network For Refugees and Migrants (INFoRM)

Community and Public Health also networks with many organisations around refugee and migrant issues including:

  • Christchurch Resettlement Services (CRS);
  • Settlement Support NZ;
  • Canterbury Refugee Council;
  • Hagley Community College;
  • Office of Ethnic Affairs;
  • Christchurch City Council; and
  • Health and Disability Advocacy Service (part of the Health and Disability Commission).

Free health screening and first doctor’s visit

Bhutanese Family sitting together.Community and Public Health organises free health screening services for new refugees resettled in Canterbury.

All refugees are entitled to a free health screening check for each family member. This includes asylum seekers applicants, Family reunification migrants and New Zealand quota system refugees.

Community and Public Health will then organise a free first doctor’s visit for each family member. Interpreters will be provided where needed.

Contact the Community and Public Health Communicable Disease Nurse on 03 364 1777 to find out what services are available or to organise a doctor’s visit.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


For infectious disease enquiries, contact:

Communicable Disease Nurse
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6484

For additional information, contact:

New Zealand Newcomers Network.

Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre
Ph: +64 3 377 2538

Christchurch Resettlement Services
Ph: +64 3 335 0311

Citizens Advice Bureau – Migrant Connect and Language Connect
Ph: 0800 FOR CAB (0800 367 222)

Settlement Support NZ
Ph: +64 3 353 4162

Everyone has their own ideas about what makes them feel great!

All Right? asked Cantabrians from various cultural backgrounds to think about their wellbeing and the things they do to improve it. Their answers are a useful reminder of the simple things we can all do to take care of ourselves and each other.

The posters feature people from Malaysian, Nepali, Chinese, Farsi, Korean and Hindi cultural backgrounds.

CALD Wellbeing - Chinese Poster (MNH191A).

The Newcomers Guide to Christchurch and Canterbury

This Facebook page is for recent arrivals to the Canterbury region.

It’s designed to share what’s happening, provide key information on living here, and act as a place for those new to Canterbury to connect and share ideas.

Contact Christina Lewis for more information (03 378 6823).

Newcomers Guide to Christchurch and Canterbury Logo.

Page last updated: 29/05/2019

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