The overarching goal of the Asylum Seekers Support Trust (ASST) is to help create a New Zealand where Asylum Seekers and Convention Refugees are welcomed, supported and thriving.
We do this by providing emergency housing and other critical humanitarian support from a qualified social worker who gives advice and practical assistance based on assessment of individual need.
ASST also advocates strongly for legal and compassionate treatment of our clients and all those who come to our shores seeking a safe and peaceful life.
ASST began in 1989 as the Auckland Refugee Council Incorporated (ARCI) as a result of seeing the plight of people who sought asylum, families who had escaped life-threatening danger and were desperate for a safe haven. They received no help or support while they waited to be granted refugee status. They had nowhere to go and no-one to speak for them. We saw this neglect, and through advocacy and support, offered them a chance for something better.
In 2015, we adopted the trading name of Asylum Seeker Support Trust (ASST) as a division of the ARCI to reflect our unique position as the only organisation in New Zealand specifically caring for asylum seekers and the convention refugees they become in a successful process. But we still do the same job we've done for more than 25 years – advocating for and supporting asylum seekers and convention refugees, and lobbying for their rights.