Syrian families need resettlement, not rhetoric

The Prime Minister could pay more than just lip service to the Syrian refugee crisis on the global stage by offering more funding and more resettlement places to refugees in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.

Tomorrow’s (NZ time) meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) will be chaired by John Key, following a historic meeting of world leaders to discuss the global refugee crisis.

“The Prime Minister is talking a big game in New York, but resettling more refugees here in New Zealand is a tangible, compassionate move he could make right now to help Syrian families,” said Green Party immigration spokesperson Denise Roche.

“As horrific events in recent days have made very clear, the resolution to the Syrian conflict is still a long way away. In the meantime, tens of thousands of Syrian families are trapped in refugee camps or risking dangerous journeys to try to reach safety.

“John Key’s heartless refusal to permanently increase the refugee quota until 2018 showed that, despite our role on the UNSC, he is not fundamentally interested in showing leadership on global issues where New Zealand can really make a difference.

"President Obama’s leaders’ summit on refugees yesterday was a prime opportunity for John Key to commit to the President’s campaign to improve the lives of the world’s refugees. Instead he has chosen to do nothing.

“As a small country with limited influence, the most practical thing we can do to assist with the crisis is to offer more displaced people a safe place to call home,” said Ms Roche.

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