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Weight Of Sixty-one Organisations, Individuals And Community Members Call For Urgent Action For Afghanistan

September 16, 2021 - An open letter to Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs was submitted today with signatures from 61 organisations, individuals and Afghan community members calling for urgent action for Afghanistan. In the open letter, the group expresses their concern about the delay in Government action:

“The needs in Afghanistan are growing by the hour. Right now, there are compounding crises taking place, including hunger, displacement, conflict, and Covid-19. Basic services are collapsing, and aid is running out. There are ongoing reports of gross human rights abuses. Women, children, and those who have worked to promote human rights, democracy and education, are amongst the people most at risk. Urgent action is needed to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster and to ensure that every individual has their rights and dignity upheld.”

Canada has announced the resettlement of up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghan nationals; the UK committed to accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees; the US is expected to admit 50,000 Afghan refugees and has set aside a US$500 million fund which will help meet urgent migration needs; European countries and our Australian neighbours are also taking steps. However, New Zealand has made no such commitments yet. The letter urges the Government to take action, saying:

“Your Government is perceived to be one that practices kindness and is committed to collective action for the betterment of humanity, yet other countries have taken significant steps to address the need for international support and assistance, while New Zealand has not.”

The New Zealand Government spent 20 years and hundreds of millions of dollars in military expenditure as part of the international intervention in Afghanistan. The group of 61 says that the New Zealand government has an obligation to the people of Afghanistan to stand by them now:

“Be it the provision of aid, or safe pathways to New Zealand, the time for response is immediate and the cost of inaction is high.”

Read the open letter here, which includes signatures from the following:


  1. ActionStation
  2. Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington
  3. Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand
  4. Anglican Missions
  5. Aotearoa Resettled Community Coalition (ARCC)
  6. Asylum Support Seekers Trust (ASST)
  7. Belong Aotearoa
  8. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
  9. ChildFund
  10. Christian Churches New Zealand
  11. Christian World Service
  12. Community Law Centres O Aotearoa
  13. Congregational Union of New Zealand
  14. Council for International Development
  15. ECPAT NZ
  16. Fairtrade ANZ
  17. Hagar
  18. Hazara Afghan Youth Association (HAYA)
  19. Hazara Association of New Zealand
  20. Methodist Church of New Zealand
  21. NZBMS (New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society)
  22. Oxfam Aotearoa
  23. ReliefAid
  24. Save the Children
  25. Tearfund
  26. The Gender Justice Collective
  27. The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago
  28. Tutapona International
  29. UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand
  30. United Afghan Association of Canterbury
  31. Vineyard Churches Aotearoa New Zealand
  32. Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand
  33. World Vision New Zealand


34. Alberto Costi, Professor, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

35. Amin Vakili, Civil Society Activist and members of the Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington

36. Archbishop Don Tamihere. Te Pihopa o Aotearoa

37. Archbishop Philip Richardson, Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki

38. Associate Professor Bethan Greener PhD, Massey

39. Blake Dawson, Barrister (Brandon Street Chambers)

40. Bridget Crichton (Fa’amatuainu), Lecturer, AUT School of Law

41. Carol Peters, PhD, QSM, Whangarei District Councillor

42. Dr Arif Ali, Hazara Association of New Zealand and Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington.

43. Dr Charles Mpofu; Senior Lecturer

44. Dr Marnie Lloydd, Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington

45. Dr Natalia Szablewska, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Expert, Auckland University of Technology

46. Dr. Heather Devere, Director of Practice, Te Ao o Rongmaraeroa/National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

47. Eleanor Holroyd Co-Director AUT Centre of Migrant and Refugee Research

48. James Meager, Public Law Solicitor

49. Jane Verbitsky Associate Professor

50. Javid Nazari, President of Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington

51. John McBride, Barrister

52. Marianne Elliott, Human Rights Advocate

53. Mohammad Raqiz Nabizadah, member of Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington

54. Monique van Alphen Fyfe, Barrister | Rōia Tūtahi (Stout Street Chambers)

55. Natalie Baird, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law | Te Kaupeka Ture, University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha

56. Nicola Muir, Author

57. Paul Rishworth QC

58. Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio - Moderator Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ

59. Shakerah Zakeri, member of the Afghan community

60. Sulaiman Sarwary, PHD student and member of Aotearoa's Afghan Community

61. Wendy Aldred, Barrister (Stout Street Chambers)

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