Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Woodhouse signs on to refugee misinformation campaign

Woodhouse signs on to refugee misinformation campaign

The Minister of Immigration continues to mess up the statistics around New Zealand’s contribution to the international community.

“The Minister wants the feel-good notion that New Zealand is doing our bit internationally, while not actually being prepared to do anything,” said Murdoch Stephens, co-ordinator of Doing Our Bit, a campaign to double New Zealand’s UNHCR quota. “He claims we’re sixth in the world in one category of refugee settlement, while ignoring the more much more common category.”

Michael Woodhouse makes the claim that New Zealand is sixth equal in our UNHCR resettlement quota. For example, in 2011 New Zealand settled 457 refugees via the UNHCR resettlement system compared to the United Kingdom’s 430.

The UNHCR quota system is by far the smallest manner in which most refugees are settled. Most refugees are settled via being assessed as asylum seekers. Of the 159 countries that settle refugees (according to the latest UNHCR statistics), only twenty-six use the system that Woodhouse prefers to focus on, with fifteen of those in the process of rolling it out.

In 2011, New Zealand settled 85 refugees in this manner compared with the United Kingdom’s 12202.

If all refugees of concern to the UNHCR are measured, New Zealand is not pulling its weight. Our company in terms of accommodating refugees is Hungary, Tajikistan, Poland and Malawi. The world average is 3.4 times, per capita, more than New Zealand takes.

“In June the government passed a law to mandatorily detain legal asylum seekers coming into New Zealand. When Australia passed detention legislation last year they doubled their UNHCR resettlement quota,” says Stephens.

Australia’s total refugee quota is now twenty thousand people per year. By contrast this year was the first since 2008 that New Zealand has reached its quota of 750 and we receive on average 100 extra as asylum seekers. In February a NZ Herald editorial reported that Australia takes five times more refugees  than New Zealand per capita.

New Zealand has the capacity to do more. Over the last week the government has highlighted several statistics via social media that show our country is only behind Australia in the OECD in terms of GDP growth and unemployment.

“I’m not suggesting we become a world leader in resettlement as the Minister incorrectly claims that we are,” says Stephens. “If we double the quota and the funding for it, then we’re not quite at the world average but we’re getting closer.”

Woodhouse also claims that $58m a year is spent on refugees, despite the appropriations in the budget listing the expenditure as $16m and his own office claiming it would cost $16m a year to double the quota.

The Labour Party’s position is to review their refugee policy, while the Greens have a policy of supporting an increase to 1000, though their Immigration spokesperson has blogged in support of the campaign to double the quota.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news