Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: To have a home

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    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,

    That is so far from what is important here. That is so much like "It's ok, Labour did it".
    More handwringing. "I feel so guilty I don't have to actually do something because others haven't"
    We should be shaming John Key and the National Party, this is here now, not some guilt ridden history lesson.
    Anyhow, I have said what I feel and I need say no more.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Katharine Moody,

    How about we scrap our entire Immigration Services departmental expense (roughly $210million pa);


    Increase our refugee quota to the equivalent of the present migrant numbers (the UN effectively takes on the full cost of that processing function)

    And spend the saved $210m on building our capacity to settle these new refugee citizens.

    Point is, Immigration Services and the whole policy surrounding it doesn't do/achieve what the government would like us to believe it did anyway (its purpose to my mind is to wages low for low skilled employment opportunities);


    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report

  • wendyf,

    Next month Christchurch will be able to enjoy 'South Pacific', the musical. I'm hoping that those in the audience take in the message - a young man from the US who falls in love with a young native girl, but can't bring himself to actually marry her, acknowledging you've got to be carefully taught. A young woman from the US south who falls in love with a French man and his two delightful children. She has to wash that man right out of her hair when she finds out that the two little ones had a native mother.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report

  • Matthew Reid, in reply to Thalia KR,

    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.

    We should separate refugee policies from asylum policies. I agree that Australia's treatment of people seeking asylum is inhumane and awful, but Australia has an annual quota of 20,000 refugees to NZ's 750. That means Australia takes 1 refugee for every 1,150 people, compared to NZ's 1 per 5,960. I'd rather we followed Australia's refugee policy, but differed in our treatment of anyone arrives here, unlikely as it is to be by boat.

    South Africa • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to wendyf,

    Christchurch will be able to enjoy 'South Pacific', the musical.

    Ah, the "Good Old Days", good to see Christchurch still retains that colonial soul.
    Personally I think South Pacific, the Musical should be banned forthwith, just for being a musical as much as anything else.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    That is so much like “It’s ok, Labour did it”.

    So very much the opposite: it's saying "It's not OK, whoever does it".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report

  • Thalia KR, in reply to Matthew Reid,

    Yes, I see what you're saying. I think, in practice, that it's hard to separate the two things because of the emotive rhetoric involved in the hardline asylum policy.

    I think the hard-heartedness of the current government in relation to our _refugee_ policy is influenced by their _asylum_ policy.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 5 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    As for old matter of fact Magic "fait accompli" Mike:

    Not even close.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to chris,

    As for old matter of fact Magic “fait accompli” Mike:

    I’m only surprised that he didn’t play the Huntingtonian “The Muslims are coming!” card. Although he thinks taking in refugees is a 'complex problem' while the West having troops in Iraq is not.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Martin Roberts,

    Helen Clark reminded us, in her recent Reeves Lecture, that we also need to work towards peace within Syria. There are so many still in the country who deserve better and who would overwhelm us if forced to flee.

    I liked her language of investing in peace, which we seem rarely to do. I was also impressed that UNDP is able to do anything inside the country at this time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 93 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace,

    NZ has largely been settled by refugees of one kind or another from the Highland clearances and the Irish potato famine or seeking freedom to practice their religion or utopian ideas to those just seeking a new life in a new country. In the 1870s refugees from Britain and Europe came in by the shipload.

    It has never been easy. There have been times when hundreds came such as the Polish children and their caregivers (800 in all). By the way that happened because Janet Fraser the wife of the Prime Minister and the wife of the Polish ambassador persuaded their husbands to make it happen. Helena Wisnieswska Brow's father was one of this group and she has written a wonderful story about him in Give us this day.

    Te Ara as usual has a useful overview

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,

    Breaking News...
    Nz to take 100 extra refugees from Syria...
    That was a year ago and was included in the 750 intake...
    Prime Minister John Key has rejected claims this morning the government is opening the gates to an Syrian refugees.
    Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has revealed she asked Prime Minister John Key to follow the example she set with the Tampa refugees when trying to address the Syria problem.
    Its Labours fault.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Danielle,

    Jesus fucking Christ, Steve, do you ever give it a rest?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Danielle,

    Steve, do you ever give it a rest?

    Nope, I am not the lay down and die kinda guy.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Back on topic.

    Some years ago our family was a temporary refuge for a very wee lad of Iraqi/Kiwi ancestry.

    Dad was a child of the Tampa(we think) and had grown up amid bombs and guns and generalised mayhem.

    Mum was a victim of familial, generational sexual abuse and violence.

    Both were lovely people (seriously), but despite such support our MSD was (and still is) capable of providing, neither had a snowball's chance of ever being able to parent. Tragic.

    Bring in these desperate refugees/asylum seekers...BUT...let us make absolutely sure that they have the support they need to mitigate the effects of their horrendous experiences.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    “Are New Zealanders equipped to cope with people who have been traumatized?

    Short answer...no.

    Longer answer...That's no reason to not take in refugees...we just NEED to be aware that simply providing a home, three squares, education etc., may not be sufficient.

    Look how well we have done for our indigenous refugees....children in state care, those with mental health issues, our disabled citizens.

    We can do better.

    I hope.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    children in state care, those with mental health issues, our disabled citizens.

    I fear that there are plenty of people in this country that consider them to be nothing but a burden too, one of them is our own Prime Minister.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    John Key completely blows great opportunity to claw back some credibility in the humanitarian stakes:

    New Zealand government rejects claim it has agreed to take 100 Syrian refugees
    The claim, made on Saturday by a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, was rejected by prime minister John Key’s office.
    “The government is looking at all options and we are not ruling out doing more across a range of areas,”

    Wishy-Washy 101

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,



    Our Leader.


    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • David Hood,

    Translating "are NZers equipped", "should we risk only helping making life somewhat better for them"

    You could ask the question of "if someone needs first aid, should you do what you can, or avoid helping because you are not a doctor"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report

  • Andre,

    Maybe we could take in the boat people being held in indefinite detention by the Australian government at Nauru and Manus Island instead. They were fleeing Iraq, Afghanistan etc and the problem (the words 'ongoing humanitarian disaster' spring to mind) is very local to us.
    After their ill treatment by Aussie governments of all political persuasions for the last decade it's like having a local Guantanomo housing people who haven't committed any crime other than trying to flee their war-torn homelands.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 371 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Lazar, us?
    Somewhere there will be a divergent node of reality where John Key's mother Ruth Lazar never made it out of Austria as a refugee, and no compliant British Soldier would marry her aunt to legitimise her stay in Britain, allowing her to meet George Key and then come to New Zealand...

    Funny old thing fate!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • andin,

    nothing but a burden

    We have all been a burden at some stage of our life. I find having to put up with the willful stupidity of the likes of johnkey and blinglish a wearisome burden.
    How can seemingly intelligent people be such a burden to the rest of the planet?
    Jonkeys are supposed to be beasts of burden how did this one turn into a psycho

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to David Hood,

    You could ask the question of “if someone needs first aid, should you do what you can, or avoid helping because you are not a doctor”

    That would really depend on your knowledge, for anyone swayed by that, if you suspect someone may have spinal injuries please don’t move them. As such I’m not entirely convinced by that analogy, in fact I would go so far as to propose another, If someone is homeless and in desperate need, should you offer them accommodation when you know that your place might actually be a death trap? It’s a tough question, I’ve always been of the thinking that New Zealand’s low population is a negative and that we should be welcoming those who wish to make this their home, dampness and lack of insulation aside, when the sun comes out and the temperatures climb over 10° this is a fine place to live as long as you can speak the language and find a job and be able to afford to heat your house. We are nothing if not enthusiastic hosts, just BYO.

    Bryce Edwards’ Political roundup: NZ is part of the refugee problem has some great links, I also thought his Political roundup: Solving the housing crisis six weeks ago was great. I just hope the TPPA doesn’t hoist the price of Ritalin up any further in this country.

    We are a simple people, easily distracted from one moment to the next, earnest crusaders for justice when the need for justice hits the headlines.

    and for a month or so after.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

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