We are Belong Aotearoa.

A new brand name to suit the new strategy which is courageous new direction to address the prevalent barriers newcomers face when settling in New Zealand. 

In November 2018, Belong Aotearoa (Formerly known as ARMS) was launched along with the new strategy. The new strategy shared at the event recognised the strengths and achievements of ARMS over 15 years and the opportunity and need for a change. 

Newcomers face a wide range of barriers and pain points to settlement and integration within the New Zealand system. These systems include health, education, employment and social systems in which they experience pain points such as inequitable access to employment, racism and social isolation. In response, below is Belong Aotearoa’s new strategy. 

OUR VISION: An inclusive, connected New Zealand where newcomer communities are able to enjoy and contribute towards our collective wellbeing and prosperity.

OUR MISSION:Driving innovation to improve newcomer settlement and integration.



Empowerment We work in ways that empower diverse communities – especially those who would otherwise be marginalised or face barriers to participating in community and having their voices heard. 

Manaakitanga Through our work with newcomer communities, we understand the value of a warm welcome. We therefore work in ways that are warm, caring and supportive, so that our communities and partners feel valued and included. 

Whanaungatanga Forming connections can help people to feel like they belong. We work in ways that focus on understanding people’s shared experiences and values, and use these to build strong and sustainable connections. 

Courageous disruption We recognise that new solutions are needed for us to be able to achieve our vision, and so our mission is focused on achieving systems change. To deliver on this, we are prepared to be bold, brave, disruptive and innovative in our approach. 

Collaborative impact We know that other organisations and groups share our values and goals, and have diverse strengths and resources that complement our own. We work in partnership with others to achieve stronger, collaborative impact. 


In line with our mission, we are focused on delivering outcomes that contribute to positive systems change and address critical pain points in the settlement and integration experience for newcomers in New Zealand. 

To achieve this, all work that we engage with under our new strategy must align with our priority focus areas: 

  • Initiatives or opportunities with the potential to deliver systems change – generating new solutions and evidence about what works, in order to influence wider policy and practice.

  • Initiatives or opportunities that prioritise settlement, belonging and wellbeing outcomes for new migrants and former refugees. 

In addition, we have identified key system pain points that we will focus on in the initial implementation of our strategy: 

  1. Equitable access to employment and enterprise for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. 

  2. Social isolation experienced by women from refugee and migrant backgrounds. 

  3. Gaps and barriers to collaboration within the ethnic community sector. 

  4. Barriers to civic participation and integration caused by wider societal attitudes and discrimination towards newcomer communities.

These issues were identified through stakeholder engagement and research undertaken in 2018. These priorities may change over time based on the insights that we gather as part of our ongoing impact model. Any new priority pain points that emerge over time must fit with our overall mission and priority focus on driving systems change.