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Time To Take ‘People-Smuggling’ Threats Seriously!

27 February 2002

It’s Time To Take ‘People-Smuggling’ Threats Seriously!

“While the Christian Heritage Party commends the Government for introduction of new laws for stiffer penalties for people involved in people smuggling, the Party believes these announcements do not tackle the root causes of the problem,” Immigration spokesperson, Rosemarie Thomas said today. “Christian Heritage believes if New Zealand is serious about halting the threat of ‘people smuggling’ we need to work more closely with the Australian Government.”

“The reality is that people smuggling has developed into a global issue. Our Government can no longer afford to take an isolationist stance; based on the unrealistic idea that New Zealand won’t be affected due to our remote position in the world.”

“The people behind such schemes are well-organized, with the ability to have people smuggled into New Zealand in an almost undetectable fashion. They are often connected to the criminal underworld and already breach our borders daily, smuggling narcotics, and pornographic material.

Rosemarie Thomas continued, “Unfortunately the Government’s pronouncements do little to stop New Zealand appearing to be a soft-touch as far as people smuggling is concerned. Approving the Tampa boat people gave an incontrovertible message to all and sundry that the Government does not really have the will to make the tough decisions.”
“Christian Heritage” she said, “however is absolutely committed to seeing genuine refugees being able to come to New Zealand. The Party would support moves to see the Refugee Quota met with people coming from recognised UNHCR resettlement camps, or from special case situations like farmers from Zimbabwe.”

Rosemarie Thomas has worked as an Immigration Consultant in Wellington since 1991. She can be contacted on either (04) 939 8466 or 025 846 627

END

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