The Green Party is deeply disappointed but unsurprised at National resorting to the politics of division in its new border policy, showing a complete lack of regard for New Zealanders overseas.
Green Party Immigration Spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said today:
“This policy proves once again that National do not care about the wellbeing of New Zealanders overseas, and are only out to score political points.
“Refusing entry to New Zealanders who may be sick or unable to even access COVID testing is an absolute breach of their rights, and ignores the realities being faced by Kiwis outside of New Zealand.
“They want to leave New Zealanders stranded overseas, where we can’t guarantee they will have access to adequate healthcare or support.
“They also make the incorrect assumption that tests are easily accessible overseas. We know that in many places, including the United States and even parts of Australia, testing is hard to access or very expensive. It could leave New Zealanders stranded overseas indefinitely.
“National is playing on peoples’ fears to win votes, and is willing to throw New Zealanders overseas under the bus to do so.
“The mandatory managed isolation period for returning New Zealanders is in place for a reason.
“We know that New Zealanders overseas are having an incredibly stressful time, facing insecure employment, uncertainty as to when they can see whānau again, and the very real threat of COVID-19.
“The best way to keep safe from COVID-19 is to have strong managed isolation, testing, and quarantine systems in place on arrival in New Zealand, not to strand Kiwis overseas where they could be unsafe.
“We should be supporting people to come home if that is what they need to do. Unfortunately, National seems happy to ignore their human rights in order to scare the public.”