INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens Support NZ Taking Refugees From Tampa

Published: Fri 31 Aug 2001 10:48 AM
Greens Support New Zealand Taking Refugees From Tampa
Green Immigration spokesperson Keith Locke has backed Helen Clark's offer to take some of the asylum seekers stranded on the ship Tampa off Christmas Island.
"It will show the world that we are a compassionate people. We can easily accommodate some of the refugees," said Mr Locke.
As Australia, Norway and Indonesia continued to wrangle about their obligations towards the asylum-seekers, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Australia bore the primary responsibility.
"The Greens are appalled at John Howard's heartless rejection of the refugees.
"The refugees have suffered great hardship, both in Taliban-run Afghanistan and in their journey over land and sea seeking a better life," said Mr Locke.
"Australia must abide by its international duty let the refugees come ashore at Christmas Island for processing.
"If we take some of the Afghans we should treat them with respect. People who are willing to sacrifice so much to obtain freedom generally make good citizens," he said.
"I strongly take issue with Jenny Shipley's demand that if the refugees get here they should be detained under the 1999 emergency legislation for boat people.
"We should not imitate Australia which holds thousands of asylum seekers in remote detention centres, often for years. That shameful process has rightly drawn international condemnation," Mr Locke said.
"We've been moving away from detaining asylum seekers. Experience shows refugees welcome the support they get while they are being processed, and that they are cooperative with the Immigration Service.
"I have a private members bill in the parliamentary ballot, the Refugee Claimants (Rights Protection) Bill, one of whose provisions is to stop the detention of asylum seekers, unless they can be shown to be a criminals or terrorists," said Mr Locke.
Ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles
By: The Conversation
Emissions Report Shows Urgent Action Needed
By: New Zealand Government
ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform
By: The Conversation
Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint
By: New Zealand Police
Drug-testing Law To Be Made Permanent
By: New Zealand Government
Emotive Live Export Ban A Kick In The Guts
By: ACT New Zealand
World Leading Live Export Ban Means Thousands Of Animals Will No Longer Suffer Overseas
By: SAFE NZ
Feds: Live Export Ban 'surprising'
By: Federated Farmers
NZ Becomes First In World For Climate Reporting
By: New Zealand Government
Photographs Taken At Police Checkpoint Unlawful
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media