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.
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);
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
As for old matter of fact Magic "fait accompli" Mike:
Not even close.
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.
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.
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
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.
Jesus fucking Christ, Steve, do you ever give it a rest?
Steve, do you ever give it a rest?
Nope, I am not the lay down and die kinda guy.
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.
The oddest unexplored fear of asylum seekers I’ve heard tossed about is: “Are New Zealanders equipped to cope with people who have been traumatized?
Nope, I am not the lay down and die kinda guy.
Just a thought. Ask someone you trust to let you know when your fight turns pathological:-)
“Are New Zealanders equipped to cope with people who have been traumatized?
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.
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.
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,”
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"
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.
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!