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

 

Green refugee policy brings NZ into line with Australia


Green refugee policy brings NZ into line with Australia, Canada

Any shock at the Green party policy to increase the refugee quota to 4000 places should focus on why our intake has been so low for so long.

Increasing the refugee quota to 4000, with an additional 1000 places for community sponsorship would put New Zealand alongside countries like Australia, Canada and Ireland in hosting refugees. We’d be above Trump’s USA, but still well below the number of refugees accepted by Scandinavian countries.

“We work from a very simple principle: we should do our fair share. The Green policy is the first time in our history that a party has made a refugee policy based on a fair share with like countries,” says Murdoch Stephens of Doing Our Bit – the organisation that began the double the refugee quota campaign.

Stephens suggests that far too often the principles of protection are sacrificed based on premature evaluations of capacity or will.

“I think everyone – MPs, citizens and refugees – can agree that we should pull our weight compared to other countries. If we accept that then we need to think about how we make it work: instead of selling all those 3-4 bedroom state houses, why not resettle refugees where we have that capacity. Unlike other migrants, refugees are resettled where the government chooses – we can make this win-win with planning and goodwill.”

Other aspects of the Green policy shine a welcome light on the National party’s Trump-like ban on new refugees from Africa and the Middle East (with the exception of family reunification and emergency places).

“We’re also particularly pleased that National’s discriminatory policies that have significantly diminished African and Middle Eastern refugee numbers is called out. We should resettle refugees least likely to survive prolonged displacement as determined by the UN, not giving in to fear or prejudice,” says Stephens.

In documents released under the Official Information Act, MBIE had recommended to the government to allow new refugees to come to New Zealand from Africa and the Middle East, but that advice was ignored by Cabinet in their June 2016 review (see p.63 here).

By Australian standards the Green policy would put New Zealand in line with the Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Party of Australia. By contast the Australian Greens are proposing accepting 50,000 and the Australian Labour party are advocating for 27,000.

Stephens is also speaking at a protest at Parliament with speakers from 12.30pm today, World Refugee Day, June 20th. He will be joined by Bishop of Wellington Justin Duckworth and Syrian refugee and Victoria University of Wellington PhD student Karam Shaar in inviting politicians to pledge to doubling the refugee quota.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>

 
 

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election