Supporting migrant and refugee health in Canterbury

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.

Te Mana Ora | 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 the Community Languages and Information Network Group (CLING).

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health also networks with local organisations on refugee and migrant issues including:

  • Pegasus Health;
  • Purapura Whetu Trust;
  • Christchurch Resettlement Services (CRS);
  • Canterbury Refugee Council;
  • Hagley Community College;
  • Christchurch City Council; and
  • Health and Disability Advocacy Service (part of the Health and Disability Commission).

One-stop shop for newcomers to the Ashburton District

Ashburton District Council media release: 15th May 2024

Newcomers to the Ashburton District can now find all the essential information they need in a new online Welcoming Guide.

Council Democracy and Engagement Group Manager Toni Durham said the guide was for people moving to the district from other parts of New Zealand or from overseas.

“Being digital, the guide can be updated regularly and it will also be available in different languages.

“Newcomers will be able to find out about health, education, driver’s licences, employment, sports, things to do and services that are available. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop for information.”

Mrs Durham said the Welcoming Guide could also point people to other helpful sites, like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and their community directory, and the Hakatere Multicultural Council, which looks after the Newcomers Network, the Migrant Centre and Ethnic Leaders forum. The development of the guide was led by the staff involved in the Welcoming Communities programme.

Waitaha Canterbury Refugee Health Service launched

Waitaha Canterbury Refugee Health Service logo.Pegasus Health recently launched its Refugee Health Service. This is a confidential and FREE health service helping former refugees access healthcare in Christchurch and Ashburton.

General Manager Patient and Provider Services at Pegasus Health Lisa Brennan says the service has a community-based approach.

“At Pegasus we aim to reduce inequity and remove barriers by having competent and well-funded wrap-around services. The service is based on the feedback we received from the former refugee communities and those who support them in health and social services.”

The Refugee Health Service marks an important step in supporting former refugees in their journey here in Aotearoa.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


For infectious disease enquiries, contact:

Communicable Disease Nurse
Ph: +64 3 364 1777

For additional information, contact:

New Zealand Newcomers Network.


Waitaha Canterbury Refugee Health Service (Pegasus Health)
Ph: 0800 757 135

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)

Multicultural Aoraki
Ph: +64 3 687 7332

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.

Page last updated: 20/05/2024

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