The Green Party is calling on the Government to put its heart first and double New Zealand’s refugee quota immediately, a move that the Greens and Labour would make in government.
An ActionStation petition of 20,000 people will be presented to politicians today asking for a doubling of the annual refugee quota, which has stagnated at 750 for 28 years.
“Doubling our refugee quota is a heartfelt political statement that says New Zealanders care and want to do our bit,” said Green Party immigration spokesperson Denise Roche.
“Refugees can’t wait while National stalls. It is time for National to stop dragging the chain with their drawn out review of the quota and just double it now.
“In Government the Green Party will, as a minimum, double our refugee quota.
“We support Labour’s move to double the quota, and it is exciting to know a Labour-Green government will be more open and tolerant than the current one.
“New Zealand is embarrassingly only 90th in the world for the number of refugees per capita that we take in. Our current quota means we are not living up to our reputation as a caring country.
“The global refugee crisis is the worst it has been since the end of World War II. After that war, New Zealanders opened our hearts and borders to the victims of that war and our country is better for the diversity those communities brought.
“This is a simple, common sense issue. As a caring country we should get on with doubling our refugee quota immediately and open our hearts and borders to those who need our help and shelter,” said Ms Roche.