Monday's announcement that National will put off a 250-place increase in the refugee quota until 2018 is another example of this Government’s commitment to only doing the bare minimum to help people in desperate need, the Green Party said.
The Green Party supported this year’s 20,000 strong petition to increase the quota and funding for refugees in New Zealand. The Greens also have a Member’s Bill in the ballot which would double the amount of refugees that we welcome to New Zealand each year.
“National has missed a crucial opportunity to make a difference to hundreds more refugee families who could be resettled in New Zealand. It has instead opted to do the bare minimum,” said Green Party immigration spokesperson Denise Roche.
“This decision underscores this Government’s fundamental lack of heart on the issues that matter. We can do better than this.
“National claims that this is an issue about the quality of resettlement outcomes, but they have the ability to increase their investment in support services tomorrow.
“Instead, the Government used the challenges facing refugees who are already in New Zealand as an excuse to put off increasing the quota by any significant margin.
“Immigration New Zealand has said that it has the capacity to help resettle 1500 refugees a year if the Government would invest more in community services.
“It is a recurring habit of this Government to avoid responsibility for important issues and leave it to the community and charitable sectors to pick up the pieces.
“The Green Party supports a system of community sponsorship, but it shouldn’t come at the exclusion of government leadership and financial support,” said Ms Roche.