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Dunne undermines our reputation by supporting detention

12 April 2013

Dunne undermines our global reputation by supporting arbitrary detention of refugees

The immigration bill to allow mass detention of refugees will not pass without Peter Dunne’s vote, and the amendment to increase the threshold for arbitrary detention from 12 to 30 is meaningless, said the Green Party today.

“The immigration bill that provides for mass detention of refugees who have done nothing wrong is being supported by Peter Dunne, on the flimsy reasoning that increasing the threshold from 12 to 30 refugees somehow justifies arbitrary detention,” said Green Party Immigration spokesperson Jan Logie.

“It’s a National Party fantasy that hordes of refugees are going to start arriving on our shores, this bill is really about supporting Australia’s punitive regime for effectively putting refugees in jail. It’s a shame that Peter Dunne has done a deal with National to support this violation of the basic human rights of people who need support.

The immigration bill is contrary to New Zealand’s obligations under the Refugee Convention and the international human rights instruments the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act gives effect to, added Ms Logie.

“By supporting this bill, Peter Dunne is undermining New Zealand’s reputation, human rights and international law.

“It is clear the bill neither protects New Zealand’s borders nor takes action against people smuggling. We know that based on international experience, measures such as those proposed in the bill do not work.

“Very recently, residence and reporting agreements were introduced to the Immigration Act as an alternative to detention and have been accepted internationally as good practice models.

“Now this bill risks the positive reputation carefully built by New Zealand. It has already drawn negative comments from the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees.

“New Zealand has a strong reputation in human rights which all New Zealanders can be proud of and this bill with its flawed rationale, puts this at risk,” said Ms Logie.


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