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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news