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Hunger Strike Highlights Need For Better Strategy


2 October 2000

HUNGER STRIKERS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR BETTER IMMIGRATION STRATEGY

The plight of hunger striking refugees in Auckland's Aotea Square highlights the present inconsistencies in immigration policy and the need for a more integrated and comprehensive population and immigration strategy, says Hon Peter Dunne, leader United New Zealand.

"Clearly these people are desperate and are right to be demanding fairer treatment than they are receiving.

"The Government's decision to exclude refugees from the recently announced overstayers' amnesty highlights an inconsistent and inhumane approach to the treatment of immigrants," says Mr Dunne.

He says the hunger strikers are being treated differently simply because they are refugees.

"Not only is this morally wrong, but many of these people would be good migrants who could make a positive contribution to New Zealand's economic and social future.

"Again this highlights the lack of an overall immigration and population strategy with sensible migration settlement policies. Only by establishing such a strategy can we ensure all potential migrants are treated fairly and that there is a mutual benefit for new migrants and New Zealand citizens," says Mr Dunne.

END


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