The increasing use of emergency departments by refugee and migrant groups reflects the shifting ethnic composition of central Auckland. Refugees are different from other immigrants and from low-income families in New Zealand in that they often have a history of trauma. In addition, they live with greater adversity—that is, more illness, unemployment, and isolation from support networks. These factors may account for the proportionately higher rate of presentation in the emergency department by refugees with urgent and non-urgent complaints. The health care needs of refugees are complex and place demands on both adult and children’s emergency services.