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Help those in need - not queue-jumpers

Arthur Anae National Pacific Islands Spokesperson

18 February

Help those in need - not queue-jumpers

Boat people should not be given priority over other refugees, says National's Pacific Island spokesperson Arthur Anae.

"Helen Clark's suggestion that New Zealand should take boat people from Indonesia is an ill-thought out policy.

"Even if they have approved refugee status, we should not be encouraging people to travel by boat to the Pacific. We should not be rewarding people who queue jump. There are still millions of refugees around the world stuck in camps, who are just as deserving.

"By refusing to take boat people, we would send a strong message to the people smugglers who make a living off human misery."

Mr Anae says the Government should use it's 750 refugee quota wisely.

"If Clark is doing this to curry favour with Australia, it is a strange way to go about it. Immigration policy should be based on reason and compassion, not cynical politics and TV opportunities."

Ends

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