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

 

Key to send troops to Iraq but won’t budge on refugee ban

FROM: DOING OUR BIT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5 FEBRUARY

Key to send troops to Iraq but won’t budge on refugee ban

The Prime Minister’s Waitangi-eve speech invoked the human rights of the people of Iraq. “We are a country that stands up for human rights,” Key said in defending his decision to send troops to Iraq. However, despite his publicly stated concern for the Iraqi people, he continues to ignore Iraqi New Zealanders calls for an emergency refugee quota for fleeing Christians and other minorities.

In October 2014, Father Aprem Pithyou, an Assyrian Iraqi priest based in Wellington, requested more places for Assyrian refugees. The request was not met and there is no sign that the deployment of troops will be met with any increase in humanitarian aid.

In contrast, Canada has recently earmarked 13,000 quota places for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. New Zealand is in the process of introducing the last of 100 Syrians. Since 2009, Iraqis – as with the whole Middle East and Africa regions -- are only welcome in this country through family reunification channels.

In contrast to a decade ago, when a third of our refugee quota came from both the Middle East and African regions, in 2013 New Zealand took just 16% from the Middle East and 3% from Africa. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade show that this move away from Africa and the Middle East was for three reasons: (a) cost, (b) a desire to focus on the Pacific and (c) “broad security concerns”.

“If Key was genuine when he cited human rights, he wouldn’t have ignored Father Aprem”, said Murdoch Stephens of the Doing Our Bit campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota and funding. “While family reunification is incredibly important for refugee wellbeing, this policy has vastly reduced the number of refugees being offered protection from some of the world’s worst hotspots.”

“The simple fact is that our quota has been stagnant since its inception in the 1980s,” said Stephens. “In that time our population has grown by more than a million. Australia, who aren’t exactly leading the world on asylum rights at the moment, still manage to take more than three times as many refugees per capita as us. We rank 87th in the world in refugees hosted per capita, which is appalling and needs to change. ”

At the 2014 election Labour, the Greens and United Future favoured increasing the quota from 750 to 1000. National deferred any decision on the quota until the next review on 1 July 2016.

The National government’s current refugee policy ignores the advice of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). A paper from MBIE, on 29 May 2013, to the Cabinet External Relations and Defence Committee recommends that Ministers McCully and Woodhouse: “...agree that for the Africa and Middle Eastern regions, priority be given to resettling family-linked refugees, but if sufficient refugees that meet that criterion have not been identified, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Immigration may approve the remaining places being filled with non-family linked UNHCR-referred refugees from the Africa and Middle East regions;”

In January the United Nations High Commission for Refugees renewed calls for Western nations to do more to resettle the most vulnerable ten percent of the 3.8 million refugees from the regional conflict.

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Less Than Stellar Choices


Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio - a role in which he has been invisible ever since – Bayly seems destined for a future as a trivia quiz question. That’s because as the National leadership contest comes down to a choice between Simon Bridges and Christopher Luxon, the only decisions to be made on Tuesday are over who gets to be leader, and who gets the Finance job... More>>




 
 


Government: Workplace Vaccination Requirements Extended To Cover Police And NZ Defence Force

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today that workplace vaccination requirements will be extended to include the New Zealand Police and Defence Force in preparation for the transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on 3 December 2021... More>>


RNZ: Judith Collins removed as National Party leader
Dr Shane Reti is interim leader of the National Party after Judith Collins lost a no-confidence vote. Simon Bridges was demoted and stripped of all portfolios over allegations of an inappropriate comment made five years ago at a party function. Judith Collins was voted out as National's leader today after the party was locked in a caucus for more than three hours... More>>


Government: Supporting New Zealanders To Recover From COVID-19 In The Community
The Government is increasing the support for New Zealanders who test positive for COVID-19 through the rollout of the COVID Care in the Community model and a $300 million funding boost to Pharmac to purchase new medicines to treat the virus, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>

ALSO:


National: Launches First Step To World-class Tech Sector

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says technology will create exciting careers and higher paying jobs and has the potential to transform the New Zealand economy... More>>

Council For Civil Liberties: Disgraceful Government Secrecy On Vaccination Certificates As Legislation Rushed Through
On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being rushed through Parliament under urgency, the Minister has said it will not publish the relevant policy papers until ‘late January 2022... More>>


Government: Providing Business The Tools To Vaccinate Workforces

The Government is building on measures to protect businesses and workers from COVID-19 as the country gets ready to transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on December 3, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels