Top Scoops

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

 

Refugee advocate asks PM to back 'they are us' statement


A refugee advocate is calling on the prime minister to match her rhetoric and scrap a "racist" family-link resettlement policy.

Murdoch Stephens
speaking outside Parliament

Refugee advocate Dr Murdoch Stephens (file photo) Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The policy was introduced by National a decade ago and means refugees from the Middle East and Africa are only allowed to resettle here if they already have family living in the country.

World Vision presented a petition yesterday to the Education and Workforce Select Committee calling for the refugee policy to be fairer.

A review of the policy was expected in July, however, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said it was still being considered and a decision would be announced "soon".

Refugee advocate Dr Murdoch Stephens said this was a racist policy "intentionally designed to reduce the number of Middle Eastern and African refugees in the country".

He said the government had had long enough to make a call on the policy and in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack it "absolutely has to change".

He is calling on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to step in.

"She is the leader of the country, she's got to step in and match her rhetoric.

"If she's saying 'they are us' then she's got to step up now and say, well actually, if they are they've got to be just as allowed as any people to seek asylum, seek refuge here.

"She's seeing how this affects African background and Middle Eastern background New Zealanders, how they do not feel at home here and this kind of policy leads to the isolation and leads to the vilification that was behind the March 15 attacks," Dr Stephens said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday said the policy the current government "inherited" was under review.

"I've said before it's something that needs to be looked at but we'll be making announcements once final decisions have been made."

Immigration officials were briefing MPs on the select committee further this morning.

Following the briefing, MBIE immigration policy manager Sian Roguski told reporters the government had been advised that the family-link policy had prevented the government from reaching its set regional quotas.

"The policy has made it difficult to resettle the number of refugees that government has put aside in terms of their regional allocation.

"We have not been able to meet our 14 percent allocation for that [region]," Ms Roguski said.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>

Gordon Campbell:On Kobemania, Palestine And The Infrastructure Package

Quick quiz to end the week. What deserves the more attention – the death of a US basketball legend, or the end of Palestinian hopes for an independent state? Both died this week, but only one was met with almost total indifference by the global community. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Double Standard That’s Bound To Dominate The Election

Are National really better political managers than Labour, particularly when it comes to running the economy? For many voters – and the business community in particular - their belief in National’s inherent competence is a simple act of faith. More>>


Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women In Public Life

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Harry/Meghan Affair, And Iran

Those “Meghzit” headlines seem apt, given how closely Britain’s January 31 exit from the European Union resembles the imminent departure from the Royal Family’s top team of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. For young Iranians, the accidental downing of the Ukrainian airliner is just the latest example of the deadly incompetence and dishonesty of their leaders... More>>

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog