INDEPENDENT NEWS

Nauru refugees: NZ doing all it can, says PM

Published: Thu 6 Sep 2018 10:53 AM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with agencies helping refugees in Nauru yesterday but didn't meet directly with refugees.
Ms Ardern was in the country to attend the Pacific Islands Forum, but the issue of asylum seekers detained there on the behalf of the Australian government was also raised.
Ms Ardern had said she wanted to see what life was like for the refugees, but before leaving Nauru confirmed she hadn't had direct meetings because she didn't want to raise expectations.
"I do get letters from refugees here - I have had stories come in to me that way and I've read those letters, I've replied to them.
"But I was worred about raising those expectations."
For years New Zealand has offered to accept 150 of the refugees, but Australia is prioritising a deal with the United States.
"This is a very uniqe set of circumstances for these refugees" - PM Jacinda Ardern duration 4:02
from Morning Report
"This is a very unique set of circumstances - there are a number in fact the majority of refugees who are settling in the community that have their children in school that are employed but equally are in a state of limbo," she said.
"We are doing all we can. We've made the offer, it's a genuine offer, Australia knows that that's on the table."
The Prime Minister said she met with the likes of agencies and others working with refugees.
"No matter where you are in the world as a refugee I think it's that state of limbo - not knowing where you'll be in the longer term - that I can absolutely understand is hugely unsettling," Ms Ardern said.
"I did ask questions about mental health issues and certainly I think there's an acknowledgement those issues exist."
Ian Rintoul from the Australia's Refugee Action Coalition said Ms Ardern should keep making the offer to the Australian government to 150 refugees.
"That is the way we're going to find there'll be pressure on both Nauru and Australia to do the right thing."
"[Jacinda Ardern] needs to push Australia" - Ian Rintoul duration 5:24
from Morning Report
Ms Ardern described the newly signed Boe Declaration at the Pacific Islands Forum as the most significant statement on regional security by Pacific leaders in a generation.
It addresses new challenges for the region, including cybercrime and trans-national crime, she said, and also places emphasis on climate change.
RNZ
New Zealand's public broadcaster, providing comprehensive NZ news and current affairs, specialist audio features and documentaries.
Radio New Zealand is a Crown entity established under the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. Radio New Zealand News are vital elements in our programming, providing impartial news and information to New Zealanders every day. Radio New Zealand (RNZ) provides listeners with exciting and independent radio programmes in accordance with the Radio New Zealand Charter.

Next in Comment

20 Years of the Scoop Information Ecosystem
By: Joseph Cederwall
Lyndon Hood: Better Analogies for National Pilfering Budget Data
By: Lyndon Hood
Were journalists 'just doing their job' in the political resignation of Metiria Turei?
By: Sean Phelan and Leon Salter
Gordon Campbell on the extradition of Julian Assange
By: Gordon Campbell
NZME hits 10,000 paying subscriber target early
By: BusinessDesk
Budget 2019 - Scoop Full Coverage
By: The Scoop Team
Julian Assange as Neuroses
By: Binoy Kampmark
The Effort to Relabel Julian Assange
By: Binoy Kampmark
Shredding Asylum: The Arrest of Julian Assange
By: Binoy Kampmark
Terms of Asylum and Distraction: Moreno’s Assange Problem
By: Binoy Kampmark
Grand Jury Efforts: Jailing Chelsea Manning
By: Binoy Kampmark
How You Can Be Certain The Charge Against Assange Is a Fraud
By: Caitlin Johnstone
10 Reasons Assange Should Walk Free
By: David Swanson
WikiLeaks Founder Charged in Computer Hacking Conspiracy
By: United States Department of Justice
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media