Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


A One-Off Emergency Refugee In-Take Won’t Cut It

A One-Off Emergency Refugee In-Take Won’t Cut It

Tracey Barnett

“A one-off emergency refugee in-take to New Zealand won’t cut it,” said Tracey Barnett, founder of WagePeaceNZ, a refugee awareness initiative that has been campaigning to double New Zealand’s annual quota. “It would reflect a hollow commitment to doing more on the world stage in the long-term.”

New Zealand currently ranks 90th in the world for the total number of refugees it hosts.

“The Prime Minister will be considering several options. One would be to commit fully to increasing the quota permanently. Another might be to up foreign aid to help Syrians, for example, but not touch the quota level. Still another would be to increase the number of Syrians New Zealand accepts, but simply shuffle that number as part of the existing quota.”

“Months ago, when the New Zealand government chose to spend $65 million to send another small deployment to Iraq, our Prime Minister chastised his opponents to ‘get some guts’. If our Prime Minister merely reshuffles the existing numbers of refugees we take to include more Syrians, that would indeed signal that our government is out of touch with the New Zealand public’s overwhelming support to do more.”

A recent RadioLive poll put New Zealand support of taking more refugees at 82 percent.

Barnett said, “Equally problematic is making the choice to simply do a one-off in-take. That means that the service providers within New Zealand cannot properly sustain amping up their resources, particularly if they recognise that additional trained personnel cannot be maintained in the medium and long term.

If you are going to build a solid foundation to help give refugees productive lives in New Zealand, you have to do it responsibly and well.”

“The best option remains doubling the quota immediately, coupling that with a full commitment to doubling refugee support by the government,” said Barnett.

“The greatest mistake our government could do right now is underestimate the quiet power of the silent majority of New Zealanders who see the images of children being washed up on the morning tide on Turkish beaches and ask, how can we help?”


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Keith Rankin: Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights
"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers, 'Context India', Al Jazeera, 31 Oct 2021.) India may be to the 'Revolution of the twenty-first century' that Russia was to the 'Revolution of the twentieth century'... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Foreseeable Risk: Omicron Makes Its Viral Debut
It has been written about more times than any care to remember. Pliny the Elder, that old cheek, told us that Africa always tended to bring forth something new: Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. The suggestion was directed to hybrid animals, but in the weird pandemic wonderland that is COVID-19, all continents now find themselves bringing forth their types, making their contributions. It just so happens that it’s southern Africa’s turn... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg In The Metaverse

Never leave matters of maturity to the Peter Panners of Silicon Valley. At their most benign, they are easily dismissed as potty and keyboard mad. At their worst, their fantasies assume the noxious, demonic forms that reduce all users of their technology to units of information and flashes of data... More>>

Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>