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

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

The “Scoop 3.0” Transition Plan
There is good reason to believe that a new path and a better future is possible for Scoop in 2019 as a pioneering independent Media company. A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’.

By opening up Scoop’s structure to community ownership and exploring decentralised technology through the blockchain we can ensure the public has a stake in this enterprise and a say in its development. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

Text Messages Released: National On $100,000 Donation(s)
The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us. More>>


Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>


Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>


Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>


Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>


Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>


Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>


Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>





InfoPages News Channels