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Bus passes gifted to new Syrian arrivals

Public Notice - 21 April 2016

In an effort to help Syrian refugees settle in Dunedin, the Otago Regional Council (ORC) has provided them with Go Cards, allowing the city's newest arrivals the chance to get around by bus.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the bus passes were a small gesture to help the families get around the city during their first few weeks here.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the bus passes were a small gesture to help the families get around the city during their first few weeks here.

"We've provided each family with $100 worth of bus travel. We hope they'll be able to use this to get their bearings and move freely around the city as they establish new homes here," Mr Woodhead said.

“We knew that our newest residents would be shown southern hospitality, but have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support from Dunedin,” he said.

"The bus passes are going to be a huge help - it is important the new families develop their independence, and transport is crucial to this,” Sue Price, Red Cross humanitarian services manager for Otago, said.

ORC expressed its support of Dunedin City Council's decision to become a refugee resettlement location back in September 2015.

Mr Woodhead said welcoming people to the city was both a response to a humanitarian crisis but also benefited the region.

"The new arrivals are a fantastic addition to the city and region. They bring with them diverse skills, culture and experience, and an incredible strength and resilience,” he said.

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