Government’s prudence on refugees merely disguised callousness
The tiny increase to the refugee quota, which will only begin in two years time, does not even make up for population growth in the three decades that the quota has remained unchanged.
“The National government has failed to respond to the greatest humanitarian crisis of the century. Instead of offering to be part of the world community and give protection to refugees, they’ve stepped down from the challenge,” said Doing Our Bit spokesperson Murdoch Stephens.
New Zealand’s population has grown by 42% since 1987 when our quota was 800 places in 1987.
Our inflation adjusted GDP per capita has more than doubled.
We’re more people, with much more money but it appears our hearts have shrunk.
“The Immigration Minister can pretend that waiting two years to offer a tiny quota increase is prudence but he saw in his own city of Dunedin how people respond when given the chance. His prudence is merely disguised callousness. It took Dunedin less than six months to set up and welcome refugees. We can do more, but this government simply does not care about people fleeing war and conflict” said Stephens.
To increase the quota to 1000 just because it is a round number is flawed reasoning based more on marketing than on the facts. The facts are that we have world rankings and comparisons to what we’ve done in the past that would provide sound basis for a quota closer to 1500, at least as a first step.
Australia, for example, is moving the number of refugees accepted from 13,500 to 18,750 by 2018. When adjusted for population they’ll be doing more than three times as much as New Zealand.