This World Refugee Day, the Green Party is committing to welcoming 5,000 refugees per year to New Zealand, to ensure we are doing our bit to help people who have been forced to flee their homes around the world.
The Green Party will increase the refugee quota to 4,000 places over six years, provide an additional 1000 places for church and community sponsorship, and create a new humanitarian visa of up to 100 Pacific people displaced by climate change every year.
“At a time when more people than ever have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution and climate change, welcoming more refugees to New Zealand is the right thing to do,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw
“Currently New Zealand will only accept 750 refugees per year. Even after the increase to 1000 places in 2018, we will still accept far fewer per capita than many other countries including Australia and Canada. Australia already takes in four times as many refugees per person than New Zealand.
“National’s meagre refugee quota is a stain on our reputation as a caring country. We want to change that.
“When the Syrian refugee crisis hit the headlines, churches and faith groups from across New Zealand put their hands up and said ‘we can help’. Our community sponsorship programme will allow Kiwis to play their part by helping to resettle refugees in their own communities.
“Climate change will only make the global refugee crisis worse. We will create a new humanitarian visa for Pacific people who have been forced out of their own countries by rising seas and extreme droughts.
“At this moment in global history, taking more refugees is a reflection of the strength of our values. It is the right thing to do,” said Mr Shaw.