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


Boat People Treatment To Be Firm But Fair

Hon Tuariki Delamere
Minister of Immigration

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 17 June 1999

Boat people treatment to be firm but fair

The arrival of a vessel from China containing illegal migrants last sighted in the Solomon Islands is still only a possibility, Immigration Minister, Hon Tuariki Delamere, said today.

"However, the Government is actively planning to ensure New Zealand is ready to deal with the illegal migrants should they arrive here.

"This includes the passing of clauses of the Immigration Amendment Bill in Parliament yesterday."

Mr Delamere said the Government was cooperating with New Zealand's regional neighbours on this issue.

"Some of the information that we have received about the possible whereabouts and destination of the vessel we cannot make public. We do not want to compromise the joint efforts of our neighbours, who also may have to cope with the arrival of illegal migrants.

"The Government is determined to deal with illegal immigrants firmly but fairly. This is a fundamentally different issue from the arrival of the refugees from Kosovo or other refugees where the Government has taken an active decision to accommodate them on humanitarian or other grounds.

"In this case, these people may be attempting to enter New Zealand illegally and in a way that makes it difficult to check on their health status and their identities. This exposes New Zealand to some risks. We have border controls in order to manage those risks and we are not going to compromise our own ability to keep our borders secure.

"If illegal immigrants do enter New Zealand they will be detained under the Immigration Amendment Act 1999, and processed accordingly.

"We have no information regarding the intentions of the illegal migrants should they arrive in New Zealand. At all times, illegal immigrants will be treated with respect and dignity in accordance with this country's responsibilities under the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees," Mr Delamere said.

New Zealand signed up to this Convention in 1960 as a reflection of its concern for human rights and the desire to participate in international burden-sharing in refugee situations.

An important provision is the obligation by which governments undertake not to return a refugee to a country where the refugee's life or freedom would be threatened for reasons such as race, religion, or political beliefs.

"Spontaneous asylum seekers are able to present their case for refuge subject to a special administrative process and undergo a full determination process before a decision is made on their status," Mr Delamere said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM Announces Royal Commission Into Christchurch Attacks

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that there will be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into security agencies following the Christchurch terrorist attacks... The inquiry will look at what could or should have been done to prevent the attack, Ms Ardern said. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ridding The Net Of White Supremacist Propaganda

Although it won’t be a walk in the park, gun law reform will be an easier job than neutralising the Internet hate content that (a) recruited the Christchurch shooter, and (b) confirmed him in his beliefs. More>>

Friday: National Remembrance Service

A National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack, and all those affected by it, will be held at 10am on Friday 29 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced. More>>

For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>


"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>


████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>


'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>


From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>





InfoPages News Channels