New Zealand prepared to put people before politics - time for Australia to step up
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Vice President Rachel Mackintosh will be speaking on Sunday in support of Manus Island refugees at a broad-based rally at Auckland Unitarian Church. "Church groups, refugee advocacy services, climate change activists, and members of the New Zealand Parliament are all backing our Prime Minister’s offer to take 150 Manus Island refugees," Ms Mackintosh said. "I’ll be joining them to add the support of working people in New Zealand and show how out of touch with common decency the Australian Government’s position has become."
"When our fellow human beings are simply asking for the basics of a good life - a secure home, food, clothing, medical treatment, the right to earn a living and be safe from violence - to treat them worse than animals shows a sickness of spirit. Modern New Zealand is an open and tolerant society where most people feel goodwill and compassion towards their neighbours. Working people share the same joys and struggles of maintaining decent, dignified lives and we welcome the opportunity to help people fleeing violence make their homes in New Zealand."
"I say to the Australian Government, your politics of fear risks dividing your country and poisoning your relationships with friends and neighbours. We are holding out our hand to work with you and solve the problem of international displacement. Climate change, resource shortages, and changing economies are increasing conflict and driving refugee patterns around the world. The only enduring solutions require international cooperation, and you can’t shut your door on our shared global problems forever. Let’s start by granting these refugees asylum in a willing home."