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Annette Mortensen

Doctor of Philosophy, (Sociology )
Study Completed: 2008
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Social and Cultural Citizenship Rights for Refugees in the New Zealand Health Services

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Ms Mortensen’s research focused on the integration of refugee groups into the New Zealand health system. The 1987 review of refugee resettlement policy, which established an annual quota of 750 places, has given priority to those with the highest health and social needs and removed preferences for specific national, ethnic and religious groups. Significantly, in the 1990s radical neo-liberal economic reforms were introduced and publicly provided health, education and welfare systems were restructured. This posed serious challenges to the core idea of social citizenship in general in New Zealand society. Noticeable ethnic diversification has been just one element of the resettlement policy changes; the other has been long-term social and economic exclusion in the refugee groups settled since this time. Ms Mortensen’s qualitative study indicates that New Zealand’s notably humanitarian refugee resettlement policy is not matched by adequate central government and public institutional responses and resources with which to integrate refugee groups.

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley
Dr Michael O'Brien

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