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September 17, 2018 | by  | in News |
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The Party Line

The Immigration Minister has committed to increasing the refugee quota, with support for an increase of 1500 a year in the current term of Government. Last week in Nauru, Winston Peters contradicted this commitment saying “we never made a commitment to double the refugee quota”. Peters said that New Zealand must improve life for its own citizens first. How should the New Zealand Government be involved in the global refugee crisis?

VicNats

The refugee crisis is an international issue and it is important that New Zealand plays its part — both by supporting refugees that come to New Zealand, and by providing aid to countries that need to be supported. The past National Government did this by increasing the quota by 33% and increasing foreign aid spending. However it is important going forward that the Government (AKA Winston Peters) looks at the best way to help the situation, instead of simply creating policy that looks good in a news headline.

– Grahame Woods

ACT on Campus
Act on campus, being in favour of small government, supports as little government intervention as possible. However in this case we do support bringing the quota of refugees to match population growth, that would be around 1100 currently. This ensures that we act within our means and put the concerns of the taxpayer first, while also being a compassionate and cooperative nation. Winston Peters made a joke of Jacinda Ardern by publicly undermining her leadership. By tying increases to population growth it prevents the quota to be used as a political point scoring tool as it is today.

VicLabour

Labour campaigned on doubling the quota, and Labour has always stood strongly for not only doing our part on the global stage, but going one step further and leading by example.
Our response to the global refugee crisis should be focused on three things:

1) Doing our bit to address the humanitarian crisis occurring right now, offering refuge to those fleeing severe poverty, loss of opportunity, and conflict.

2) Doing our bit to reduce the impact of climate change — something that will cause more refugees in the medium to long term than any other event in history.

3) Preparing for the inevitable increase in refugees as at risk regions destabilize further, either due to geopolitical reasons or climate change.
In the short term, that means both doing our bit generally through raising the quota, but also making an active effort to address specific regional instances of crisis like the one we can see right now in Nauru. Saying “its too hard” isn’t good enough — this is a human rights crisis, and if other countries we call our friends aren’t going to step up we shouldn’t be falling in line — we should be leading by example, and calling them out. #bringthemhere

Greens at Vic
This poem, called “boat”, by Rupi Kaur puts the issue back into perspective:
Your legs buckle like a tired horse running for safety
Drag them by the hips and move faster
You do not have the privilege to rest
In a country that wants to spit you out
You have to keep
Going and going
And going
Till you reach the water
Hand over everything in your name
For a ticket onto the boat
Next to a hundred others like you
Packed like sardines
You tell the women beside you
This boat is not strong enough to carry
This much sorrow to a shore
What does it matter she says
If drowning is easier than staying
How many people has this water drunk up
Is it all one long cemetery
Bodies buried without a country
Perhaps the sea is your country
Perhaps the boat sinks
Because it is the only place that will take you

– Conor Bryant

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