Prime Minister John Key needs to confirm if our spy agencies were involved in snooping on asylum seekers and potentially breaching our international human rights obligations, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
The Prime Minister won't confirm if the GCSB and SIS were involved in tracking a boat headed for New Zealand with 65 asylum seekers on board.
“John Key needs to realise that asylum seekers do have rights and New Zealand has international obligations to uphold human rights law,”said Mrs Turei.
“The United Nations’ Human Rights Commissioner has already stated that it is possibly illegal for Australia to “push back” boats if people are seeking asylum.
“If John Key has used our spy agencies to track asylum seekers, then they are complicit in violating international law, the Refugee Convention and ignoring the UN’s criticism of Australia.
“The spectre of boatloads of refugees has already been used by the Key Government to push through draconian immigration legislation.
“John Key has consistently talked about floods of refugees heading to New Zealand since 2010. So far this flood has not even turned into a trickle.
“While our spy agencies have received massive increases in funding and personnel in the last few years the same cannot be said of funding for refugee services.
“The Government cut money from essential refugee services in the Budget
“New Zealand needs to return to the kind of country that cares about meeting international obligations and investing in those in need.
“A good first step would be lifting our refugee quota which has been set at 750 for over a decade to 1000,” Mrs Turei said.