Supporting migrant and refugee health in Canterbury
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 Languages and Information Network Group (CLING).
- Interagency Network For Refugees and Migrants (INFoRM); and
- Health and Wellbeing Network (a subgroup of INFoRM).
Community and Public Health also networks with local organisations on refugee and migrant issues including:
- Pegasus Health;
- Christchurch Resettlement Services (CRS);
- Canterbury Refugee Council;
- Hagley Community College;
- Red Cross;
- Christchurch City Council; and
- Health and Disability Advocacy Service (part of the Health and Disability Commission).
Learn to ride with Bike Bridge
Bike Bridge is a free programme for former refugee and migrant women to learn to ride a bicycle – based at Addington School | Te Kura Taumatua.
The sessions are fun and you can also meet new people. Children welcome!
Bikes and helmets provided. No special clothes are required to participate.
This next programme begins in January/February 2024.
Participants will also have the opportunity to get a free or heavily discounted bicycle – as well as a lock and helmet – at the end of the programme.
The project welcomes female volunteers.
Contact Coordinator Lois Hill for more information (bikebridge[at]radbikes.co.nz).
Bike Bridge is supported by Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health.
Free health screening and first doctor’s visit
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 facilitates free health screening services for Family reunification migrants and asylum seekers applicants in Canterbury only. Staff will organise a GP practice and free first doctor’s visit for each family member with a Community Services Card. 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.
Pegasus Health facilitates a GP practice and free healthcare for quota refugees in Canterbury who have a Community Services Card and have been in New Zealand for less than 5 years.
Contact the Pegasus Refugee Nurse for more information (refugee.health[at]pegasus.org.nz).
For infectious disease enquiries, contact:
Communicable Disease Nurse
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
For additional information, contact:
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)
Wellbeing guides in migrant languages
Yellow Brick Road have published a series of downloadable wellbeing guides in English, Chinese, Samoan, Hindi and Tagalog. The resources cover a range of topics and will help you learn how to manage anxiety, boost your mental health and lower your stress levels.
Yellow Brick Road provides services for families of people experiencing mental illness and was previously known as Supporting Families in Mental Illness.
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).