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UN Refugee Quota Intake

6 May 2002

The latest intake of United Nations-mandated refugees will arrive in New Zealand this week.

The intake of 140 refugees is made up of 71 Afghans and 69 Iraqis.

All have been selected from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Nauru.

The Immigration Minister, Hon. Lianne Dalziel, said the government had previously announced that this intake would come from transit countries in the region to help ease the pressure on the refugee camps there.

“Using the UNHCR to determine the refugee status of those in the camps is better than having people put their lives at risk in unseaworthy boats organised by people smugglers” Ms Dalziel said.

“It will also send a message to genuine refugees that the UN system works.”

New Zealand accepts up to 750 UN-mandated refugees each year.

Those arriving this week will bring the total number accepted so far this year to 669.

Another 81 will come next month.

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