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New Zealand Needs To Up Its Immigration Response

New Zealand Needs To Up Its Immigration Response Over Fiji

United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling on the Government to become more proactive in the light of the deteriorating situation in Fiji.

"I appreciate the Government's wish to proceed cautiously, and give no comfort to Fiji's rebels or Speight's thugs, but caution has an unerring ability to become inactivity."

"The New Zealand Government clearly has to move more rapidly on the immigration front to deal with the escalating crisis," he says.

Mr Dunne is calling on the Government to extend its present immigration response to include the following steps:

* All Fijian citizens arriving in New Zealand be offered access to a nine months visitor's visa; * All Fijian citizens holding valid New Zealand residency permits be offered safe passage to New Zealand; * All Fijian citizens with family and relatives in New Zealand be given the immediate right of entry to New Zealand, and that the "locus of gravity" provisions be extended to include married siblings; * Permanent resident be offered to Fijian citizens currently in New Zealand whose safety may be at risk if they are forced to return to Fiji.

Mr Dunne is also calling on the New Zealand Government to push for the suspension of Fiji's membership of the Commonwealth and the expulsion of Fijian peacekeeping forces from United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world, until the restoration of democratic and constitutional government in Fiji.

"We cannot afford to dither - we have to take a stand both to show that the current situation in Fiji is repugnant to us, and also that we accept our humanitarian responsibilities for the people who are affected," Mr Dunne says.

ENDS

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