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Thursday, 25 April 2019 05:47 am

Descendants of Pahiatua support New Zealand’s newest refugees

POLISH refugee descendants from WWII want other refugees to have the opportunity to settle in New Zealand.

In 1944, 733 Polish children and 102 staff came to New Zealand as refugees during the war.

The children were settled at The Polish Children’s Camp at Pahiatua.

Ted Wypych, the Vice-President and Treasurer of the Wellington Polish Association in New Zealand, says the Middle-Eastern refugees in Europe face a similar experience to the refugees from war-torn Europe in the 1940s.

He says taking on refugees raises many social and economic issues but that cost shouldn’t be the only consideration.

“That still doesn’t excuse any government in any country not to take in refugees. They are people of need.”

Mr Wypych supports New Zealand taking as many refugees as it can.

He says current refugees will face similar challenges as many Poles did when they arrived in New Zealand.

Polish refugees faced a new culture, language and different political and environmental conditions, and had to adapt to create new lives for themselves.

Seventy-one years after their arrival, the Polish Association continue to assist the Red Cross’ Refugee Services as a way of giving back to New Zealand for giving many Polish refugees a home.

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