Charity Begins At Home, Immigration Minister
27 August 2002
Charity Begins At Home
New Zealand First has called on the Government to stop bringing in any more so-called refugees while New Zealanders are dying because of poor housing conditions and mentally ill people are being thrown on the streets.
Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters said he was shocked to hear the Government was taking in more people from Nauru and Papua New Guinea while thousands of New Zealanders live in sub-standard housing and a number are dying as a result.
“The report in the New Zealand Herald today that thousands of people are living in shocking conditions should wake up this Government, which is more concerned about its international do-gooder image than its own citizens.
“Northland, the Eastern Bay of Plenty and the East Coast probably have the worst housing conditions, and despite all the noise made by the Government about improving the situation, very little has happened.
“These refugees will be given good housing, food medical and welfare care in Auckland while other New Zealanders are left to become refugees in their own country.
“As well as the problem of sub-standard housing in some areas, we also have thousands of homeless mentally ill people left out in the cold.”
Mr Peters said he wanted to know exactly how many refugees the Minister was bringing in this year because the “quota” of 750 seems to have been met several times over. Saying these 136 are inside the 750 United Nations quota for New Zealand is just one more exercise in deception,” concluded Mr Peters.