Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: To have a home

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  • David Hood,

    I couldn't help recalling Dave Dobbyn's "Welcome Home"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Harvey,

    Right on Russell!
    How far would $26 million go towards helping people into what is in fact a wealthy, lightly populated country, ours?

    Westmere • Since Nov 2006 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Vivid,

    Even if NZ raises it's quota, the system is quite slow moving and won't do a great deal to help the people that need help immediately. To get here they first have to get to a UN camp, where they will have to wait a long time to be processed. They will then spend a long time in the centre in Manurewa.
    If we had land borders that people could cross it would be different, and our quota would already be higher to reflect that, but as it stands we have the luxury of being able to take the time and cherry-pick our refugees.

    Wairarapa • Since May 2015 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to David Hood,

    I couldn't help recalling Dave Dobbyn's "Welcome Home"

    Great minds! I just added it to the post. Let both instances stand :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Vivid,

    Even if NZ raises it's quota, the system is quite slow moving and won't do a great deal to help the people that need help immediately. To get here they first have to get to a UN camp, where they will have to wait a long time to be processed. They will then spend a long time in the centre in Manurewa.

    True. The long wait in camps and resettlement centres is a feature of refugee stories. But we might as well start sooner than later.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Mandy S,

    John Key's mother was a refugee from the Nazis in Austria. But she and her family only got the papers to escape because her aunt was able to get to the UK and paid a British soldier to marry her.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    As I just commented on facebook: I will be very pleased if the New Zealand government agrees to take more refugees. Every country should do more than it thinks it can to help our fellow human beings.
    I will also be embarrassed, because by agreeing to take more refugees now, and not last year or any other time in the last 28 years, our country only illustrates a basic racism: Millions of our fellow human beings have been living and dying in refugee camps and escaping from war every year in that time, but the public voice to increase how many we are prepared to take only comes now because the current wave of refugees is bothersome to Europe, not because the plight of refugees there is any more (nor less) desperate than those of the last three decades in less visible parts of the world.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    There were several refugee families at my kids' primary school. My son was friends with Abbas and Ali Nazari, whose family were on the Tampa.. Their sister, whose name I unfortunately can't remember, wrote an extraordinary account of their journey, of her moment of utter certainty that she was going to die, in the language of a ten year old girl. They're a family of remarkable people who've enriched this country - but they shouldn't have to be.

    Here's Abbas talking his experience a couple of years ago.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon,

    Helen Clark talks about opening NZ doors to the tampa refugees as one of her greatest moments as PM. It was an important thing to do, but also symbolic. In the grand scheme of things, even if New Zealand isn't able to take many people, a strong humanitarian gesture can and should have a domino effect.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Lulastic,

    This is a really powerful post- it is so important to talk about the stories of people behind the concept of a "refugee crisis" - thank you.
    I read a fantastic kiwi blog on this http://sacraparental.com/2015/06/18/refugees-welcome/ (And again, powerful reminders of the tradition of being a welcoming country)

    Thames • Since Sep 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Thalia KR,

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    I think we have two paths ahead of us. Either we (by which I mean the government) shake ourselves out of the odd hypnotic apathy of recent years and remember that we are global citizens who like to feel like we are doing our bit (remember all the warm glowy feelings we got from international peace-keeping in the 1990s?) or we follow Australia.

    And end up producing government ads like this.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    "There is no Them."

    Read that many years ago.

    Still apt.

    Russell, thanks for the stories in this post.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    We had 117,000 migrants arrive in the year to July. Many are in reality escaping totalitarian regimes but are wealthy enough to do so. Most seem to invest primarily in housing.
    Many then invite family to join them.
    No-one has ever asked if we want to ship in a million more residents each decade without thought to the infrastructure needed to accommodate them until their death, let alone the superannuation bill required.
    Imagine if we took 10,000 refugees and 107,000 migrants instead. The refugees would be more grateful - we wouldn't just be a stepping stone to Australia or a way to give their following elderly relatives free healthcare and super for example.
    The refugees arriving in Europe currently are the best equipped to get there. 800,000 have arrived in Europe in the last year, with another 40 million potential followers still stranded on the way according to reports this week. These first refugees are more highly qualified and had the money to escape. I think they would add skills to our economy and wouldn't push our house prices up on arrival in the same way traditional migrants would.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Great post, Russell.

    "Isn’t that what you’d want for your family? And with all the talk about national values amid the flag debate, wouldn’t you want offering that chance to our share of those in need to stand as a marker of New Zealand values?"

    Yes, and yes.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Good grief, I knew it was getting bad here but this takes the cake.

    the less savoury elements of the Labour government's Immigration Act

    Using this situation to put down Labour is the lowest this blog has got.
    Why you even felt it was worth going there is beyond me.
    You are preaching to the choir here, we are the compassionate ones, yet you use the occasion to attack the Party with more humanity.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I saw that as a way of pointing out that governments of all stripes have been less great than they might have been in their immigration policies. It's not about putting down Labour. It's about being even-handed in criticism.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    What Lucy said. While Labour may not be as bad as some, they're hardly leaders in immigration policy - at least not of the welcoming kind.

    And if you think this site is vehemently anti-Labour, you're mistaken. The mark of maturity is to be able to take "you could do better" criticism appropriately.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Does the Aussie term "slamming the door behind you" come to mind?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to TracyMac,

    And if you think this site is vehemently anti-Labour

    It never was but over the past few years it has moved in that direction.
    Pointing out that Labour wasn't perfect adds nothing to the situation other than diluting the disgust at National and John Key in particular.
    What it tells me is that the constant cries of "Labour did it" from the Right are beginning to become the normal response to anything negative, it is becoming a meme and it is hurting our democracy.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Deep Blue,

    Steve, I certainly don't get that from this piece ?
    Perhaps we're looking at it through different eyes.

    Te Awamutu • Since Sep 2014 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Meanwhile, over at the Herald....
    a little girl writes
    Smally's article on this subject is quite enlightening in it comments. The usual suspects spew their vile hatred and blame the lefties for spending their "hard earned money" on those despicable refugees that just want to invade our perfect country.
    Comments are now closed on that debate, must have gone the wrong way for those that like to pretend NZ is still a good and caring country.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Deep Blue,

    Perhaps we're looking at it through different eyes.

    Mine may be considerably older.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Whatever, Steve. I'm still raw from seeing photos of dead toddlers on beaches, so forgive me if I kind of think the important thing from this post is that we've got a long history of "could do better" in refugees and immigration policy, and the current crisis may be enough of a slap to bring us round to actually doing better, even if only in passing, rather than it being all about any political party or whose eyes are older.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

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    Everything that Labour does is directly hands-on micromanaged by the spirit of Michael Joseph Savage. Of course the media don't want you to know this. Here he is briefing Trevor Mallard on the vital mission of bringing back the moa from extinction.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • blindjackdog,

    Our world is host to so many who are committed to the international freedom of movement of commodities, currencies and corporate cultures - not to mention the mechanisms for coercive enforcement of those freedoms. Yet they appear strangely reluctant to grant similar rights of movement to sentient creatures such as human beings.

    It is a bizarre thing indeed that we apparently do not all enjoy equally the freedom to roam the planet onto which we are born.

    Any economic or political system that depends upon the restriction of basic human mobility is neither natural nor just.

    (And fluttering emblems that seek to naturalise such injustice are merely pleasantly patterned implements of war.)

    Since Nov 2007 • 40 posts Report Reply

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