Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Those without hearts attack those without homes

26 August, 2004

Politicians without a heart attack people without a home

Green MP, Keith Locke says the continued barrage of attacks on the number of refugees taken in by New Zealand is a shameful indictment on the xenophobia and heartlessness of some politicians.

"I refuse to believe that New Zealanders have become so cold-hearted that we would refuse a home to even the few hundred refugees a year that we now accept, when some 20 million people around the world have been displaced and are living in misery," said Mr Locke, the Green Human Rights spokesperson.

"How can National and New Zealand First demand we turn our back on people who have suffered torture, lost their families to starvation and massacre and been driven from their homes?

"We should be taking more refugees, not less. In 2003 we accepted a mere 821 refugees (654 from our international 'quota' and 167 asylum seekers). Compared to the poverty-stricken places these people have come from we are a wealthy society, and we can take more.

"The difficulty refugees have in obtaining jobs here is largely our problem, not theirs. Having accepted them, we have a duty to help them integrate into our society by giving them the appropriate English language and skills training, and by helping them gain employment.

"The Greens welcome the extra money in this year's Budget to help do this.

"As global citizens we must take in those escaping from oppressive regimes. While we don't accept refugees out of self-interest, our compassion is often rewarded. Many of the Jews who fled here from Hitler's Germany, for example, have made outstanding contributions to New Zealand society.

"National once claimed it stood for a 'decent society'," said Mr Locke. "There's nothing decent about it's latest slogan. Welcome to Dr Brash's 'heartless society'."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages