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


"Boat people" Bill passed by Parliament

Hon Tuariki Delamere
Minister of Immigration

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 16 June 1999

"Boat people" Bill passed by Parliament

Immigration Minister, Hon Tuariki Delamere, says the measures in the Immigration Amendment (No.2) Bill, just passed by Parliament by a vote of 71 - 49, are a sensible response from the Government to the possible arrival of sea-borne illegal migrants.

"This is not a panic reaction. It merely brings forward the implementation of measures contained in the Immigration Amendment Act 1999.

"The Government is determined that New Zealand will uphold the integrity of our borders against illegal migrants. Boats carrying illegal migrants have already reached Australia, Canada and the United States in recent months.

"New Zealand has been planning for such a contingency and measures in the Immigration Amendment Act, passed in April 1999 and expected to be fully implemented in October 1999, were drafted to deal with such an arrival and to address the trade in illegal migrant trafficking. Australia, for example, has seen 6 boats carrying over 334 people arrive in the past year. These people are all detained in a remote facility at Port Hedland.

"The migrant trafficking provisions in the Immigration Amendment Act were included in response to concerns that New Zealand was being targeted by migrant traffickers. There is evidence that people are being escorted to New Zealand and subsequently claiming refugee status on arrival.

"In addition, the Government was fully aware of Australia's experience with organised migrant trafficking, that had led to a number of successful prosecutions of traffickers.

"It is commonly known that if you allow trafficking, you only encourage it. Part of New Zealand's obligations to the Asian region is not to create an attraction because of weak law and inappropriate processes."

The Minister said that because of concerns about illegal immigration in the Asia Pacific region, countries in the region met recently in Bangkok. Both New Zealand and the People's Republic of China were present.

"Amongst other things, the countries present agreed that they were "gravely concerned by the increasing activities of trans-national organised criminal groups and others that profit from smuggling of and trafficking in human beings". It was also agreed that countries had the sovereign right to safeguard their borders.

"This Act asserts New Zealand's rights to secure its own borders.

"Whilst it is not yet certain that New Zealand is the ultimate destination of the Alexandra II, or the intentions of those on board, if those people claim refugee status in New Zealand they will be dealt with in accordance with New Zealand's obligation under the 1951 United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees.

"The Government will also ensure that they have medical checks and any necessary treatment. They will have access to representation and interpreters). It is important, however, that any persons arriving in New Zealand unlawfully are placed in a secure facility until their identity, immigration and health status can be determined."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news