Thursday 31 March
20,000 call on Minister to double refugee quota - ActionStation
Today, ActionStation, Avaaz and Doing Our Bit handed over a petition of 20,546 signatures calling on the Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse, to double New Zealand’s refugee quota. The organisations are calling for the refugee quota to be doubled after 29 years with no increase. The petitions coincides with Cabinet preparing to make a decision about the refugee quota.
Spokesperson for the Doing Our Bit campaign, Murdoch Stephens, explains; "29 years with no increase in our refugee quota is an embarrassment. For that to be the case during the current Syrian crisis which the UN calls the humanitarian crisis of the century makes that embarrassment a travesty."
Australia currently accepts more than three times as many refugees per capita as New Zealand. That will increase to four times if New Zealand’s refugee quota isn’t increased this year. New Zealand’s population has grown by 42% since the quota was established in 1987. The quota has not only not increased, but dropped by 50 places in 1997. Inflation adjusted GDP per capita has more than doubled.
Marianne Elliott, National Director of ActionStation; “Our members say that for New Zealand to be doing our bit, in light of the refugee crisis we are seeing around the world, our refugee quota needs to be doubled. Today we’re delivering the names of over 20,000 people who want to the Minister to know there is strong public support for the doubling of the quota.”
The refugee quota is currently being reviewed in accordance with the process set out by the Minister of Immigration. Cabinet has received documents pertaining to this review process but is yet to make a decision. "The government now has all the information they need to end these three decades of stagnation. We need them to treat the matter with urgency, make a decision to be proud of and double our refugee quota. " says Stephens.
The issue has been in spotlight as of late with Stephens recently completing a national speaking tour explaining why New Zealand should do our bit and double the refugee quota.
Stephens; “Kiwis from up and down the country have been packing into universities, churches and community centres showing that there is strong support amongst the community for New Zealand to double the quota.”
The organisations delivered the petition today with an action on Parliament lawn where members of the organisation spelt out their ask to “double the quota”.