Refugees in New Zealand need more Government support to help them make a good life for their family, not judgemental political dog-whistling, the Green Party said today.
“The Government has the ability to substantially increase support services for refugees in New Zealand to help them with language learning, employment and social integration,” said Green Party immigration spokesperson Denise Roche.
“Increased support from the Government and community groups will help refugees adapt to the Kiwi way of life – not forcing them to sign a piece of paper.
“When James Shaw and I visited the Mangere refugee centre in February, we saw first-hand how enthusiastic people are to learn about New Zealand values and embrace their new home.
“Refugees that come here want the same thing Kiwis want – a safe place to call home and to raise their kids to be the best they can be.
“There is already a strong vetting process for refugees who want to move to New Zealand. Prospective refugees are interviewed by both the United Nations refugee agency and New Zealand immigration officials.
“Thousands of men, women and children are dying ever year trying to make it to safety. New Zealand could and should be doing more to help people displaced by war and conflict.
“The Government’s announcement yesterday of a bare-minimum quota increase is a blow to our reputation as a responsible global citizen.
“The Kiwi values that we stand by are about respect and support for people with the greatest need. National should show its commitment these values by increasing the quota,” said Ms Roche.