About Us

Who we are

Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition is a grassroots, non-profit society. It acts as a local and regional umbrella organisation, founded in 2006 and led by community leaders from humanitarian entrants backgrounds.

We bring together 20 member organisations from 15 diverse ethnic backgrounds from Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kurdish, Myanmar, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Rwanda, and Uganda. We are a social advocate group and provide a collective voice and leadership on behalf of the resettled communities.      

We promote an approach that fosters sustainability and integration to maintain the cultural identities of our communities so that they may thrive in our new home Aotearoa, New Zealand. We strive to bridge the gap between our communities and service providers to achieve greater understanding, smooth resettlement and positive integration.

ARCC believes that former refugees who form these resettled communities are best placed to understand their own needs and aspirations. ARCC gives these communities the tools, resources and connections to excel in New Zealand. We hope to improve resettlement outcomes for newcomer communities and aim to meet the strategic objectives of the New Zealand National Resettlement Strategy: to help humanitarian entrants to integrate into communities, find work, gain access to health services through self-sufficiency, encourage participation and well-being along with assisting individuals and families to obtain education and housing.


There were ongoing dialogues in 2005 between resettled community leaders and their friends, supporters and agencies in the resettlement sector for the establishment of a community voice. The aim was to address with service providers in Auckland the challenges of resettlement and integration processes. Issues identified by community leaders and their members were common factors faced by resettled communities.

The reality was that one resettled community couldn’t deal with the resettlement issues on their own. Issues included, building networks, employment, housing, driver’s licenses, education, health and general navigation of New Zealand’s systems. Acknowledgement and appreciation goes to the community leaders and representatives who committed themselves to establishing the coalition as a collective voice. Those community leaders were from ethnically diverse backgrounds including Afghan, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Cameroon, D.R Congo, Kurdish, Iraqi, Sri Lanka (Tamil) and Somali.

Incorporated in November 2006 ARCC was established with the support of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) as part of the Settling In initiative.  Afterwards the initiative was taken over by the Department of Labour (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) as part of the nation-wide ‘Strengthening Refugee Voices’ (SRV) initiative.

The idea behind the establishment was to give newcomers and resettled communities a platform for their collective voice to raise awareness on the issues they were facing in the resettlement and integration process, both regionally and nationally. The overall vision was to build stable, integrated, and thriving resettled communities in Auckland by creating opportunities for participation, strengthening community leadership, building the capacity of our members, and empowering our communities to fulfill their aspirations

OUR Philosophy

The ARCC’s philosophy is driven by the idea that the resettlement of newcomers and resettled families can be a positive and empowering experience. To this end we have developed a set of values that guides our work


We involve others and listen to them. We show consideration and empathy for their emotional and physical well-being. We communicate with honesty and compassion. We work in a courteous and polite manner with all people. 


We give special consideration to the sacredness and humanity of each refugee – their culture, their language, their ancestry, their attitudes, their unique qualities, their skills, and beliefs. We celebrate all the diverse cultures of former refugees living in Auckland. We promote the retention and strengthening of each individual’s language and culture.


We involve resettled communities in the things we do and keep all our processes transparent. We reach out to all former refugees to work together for the common good.


We ensure that all former refugees are treated fairly. We promote equal access to all services. We promote the freedom to choose and the freedom of speech.


We acknowledge the importance of individual beliefs and opinions. In our differences we look for our common ground.


We do what we say we are going to do to the best of our ability. We give our time and skills for the betterment of the Aotearoa resettled community .

OUR Staff and Volunteers

Abann K.A Yor


Ashleigh Ali-Aziz

Youth Development

Gatluak Chuol


Yohanna Tesfai

Youth Development

Tina Pihema

Project Administration

Stewart Devitt

External Facilitator / Skills Developer

Faisal Farghaly


OUR Governance Board

ARCC is governed by a nine member Board and management with extensive experience within the sector. ARCC is a refugee-led organisation and that reflects in the board composition, 60% of the board members are from refugee backgrounds with skills while 40% are skilled experts who can contribute to the organisation. The same principle applies to the staff and management. The board is concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of the organisation. It makes sure that ARCC complies with laws and regulations and that the organisation is well run, efficient, makes a difference within the resettlement sector and is advancing its objectives.

Sirpa Gunn


Jean-Pierre Karabadogomba


Emily Oakley


Jessica Smith

Vice Chair

Meg Jacobs

Board Member

Dr Elfadil Sable

Board Member

Fariba Motlagh

Board Member

Emir Hodzic

Board Member

Join your hands with ours for a stronger refugee resettlement program in Auckland and New Zealand.

OUR Members

The membership of the coalition shall consist of organisation representative delegates appointed by their community organisations/groups. The community organisation must be a legal NZ registered Incorporated Society or Trust which is represented by three representatives, two females and one male, or by two males and one female. The coalition may allow some individual leaders to be associate members if it is beneficial for promoting the objectives.

The current 20 member organisations represent diverse resettled communities from different countries including the Afghanistan, Cameroon, D.R Congo, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kurdish, Myanmar (Burma) Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Somali and Palestinian communities. The full members of ARCC are organisations not individuals, but we have individuals who are associate members.  The difference between full members and associate member is that a full member has a right to vote on ARCC matters, while associate members do not. The benefits of becoming an ARCC member are that you have a voice and can establish new networks for your community. The member organisations and representative leaders attend monthly meetings where they have the opportunity to network and contribute to discussion and receive information on resettlement and integration issues and raise issues on behalf of their respective communities.

Member Organisations list 

  • Auckland South Sudan Community Inc
  • Afghan Association Inc
  • Burundian Association of NZ Inc
  • Congolese Community
  • Eritrea Community of New Zealand Inc
  • Ethiopian Community of Auckland Inc
  • Hope Worldwide Pakistan
  • MATA of Hope NZ
  • Myanmar Gon Ye Organisation
  • New Zealand Uganda Community
  • New Zealand Chin Community
  • New Zealand Zomi Community
  • New Zealand Palestine Community
  • New Zealand Zo Community Inc
  • New Zealand Kurdish Community
  • NZ Sri lanka Forced Migrant support group
  • Rwanda Community in New Zealand
  • Somali Kiwi Trust
  • Somali kiwi Association Inc.
  • Sudanese society in New Zealand
  • Tigray Community in New Zealand
  • Western Sudanese Alliance in NZ

If you are part of the resettled community in Auckland and would like to join our coalition. Any resettled community organisation can become a member.