First full inspection of Māngere Refugee Resettlement Centre
The Chief Ombudsman has released his report on an unannounced inspection of Māngere Refugee Resettlement Centre under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989.
The investigation, carried out in June 2020, was the first full inspection of the centre by the Chief Ombudsman and used defined criteria to assess the treatment residents were experiencing and their living conditions.
At the time of the inspection, the number of residents who arrived through the Refugee Quota Programme was lower than usual due to COVID-19 related border restrictions.
The Chief Ombudsman found that, overall, the centre was well-run and he commended a number of positive practices. Residents and staff said the centre was a safe and secure place to be and there were positive and respectful interactions between staff and residents.
However, there were some matters that needed attention, including a review of the weekly allowance provided to residents to ensure it was adequate for their food and other essential living costs. The Chief Ombudsman was also concerned that residents had a varied understanding of the formal complaints process, and that those required to live at the centre under Residence and Reporting Requirements Agreements did not have clear and consistent information about the leave procedures that applied to them, including the consequences of breaching the conditions of their agreements.
Immigration New Zealand had, however, made good progress in implementing the Chief Ombudsman’s recommendations and observations and he praised the staff of the centre for their care of residents.