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Written By: - Date published: 8:01 pm, November 23rd, 2017 - 155 comments
Categories: australian politics, International, jacinda ardern, political parties, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , ,

Earlier today, the Guardian was reporting that PNG police and paramilitary had descended on the Manus Island detention centre and given refugees one hour to leave. From The Guardian report…

Amnesty International said serious injuries were entirely foreseeable, and the PNG government was “knowingly placing the refugees at risk”. Amnesty’s Pacific researcher, Kate Schuetze said: “There is no justification for this action.

“International law and standards demand that refugees enjoy international protection. The country where they sought refuge – Australia – has violated their rights at every turn. PNG has aided and enabled Australia’s policy of cruelty and degradation of the refugees.”

Meanwhile NZs PM has stated that sending a message to the world in terms of NZs values is “as simple as just doing the right thing“…except she seems to confuse “doing” with simply holding a bloody view!

Cut the crap. Send a frigate. Tell Australia it can blow any threats about “diplomatic consequences” out its arse.

Manus Island reopened

Julia Gillard’s Labor government reopens detention centre – not used since 2004 – and the first 19 asylum seekers arrive from Christmas island.

Damning UN report

A UNHCR report finds every asylum seeker on Manus displays signs of anxiety and depression.

‘No chance of being settled in Australia’

New Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd announces people who seek asylum by boat will never be settled in Australia, with all sent to Manus or Nauru.

Reza Barati dies

Three days of violence leaves 70 detainees seriously injured, with some shot by police, stabbed and with their throats slit. Iranian detainee Reza Barati is murdered after security guards inflict fatal head injuries during the riot.

Hamid Kehazaei dies

Iranian Hamid Kehazaei dies after a delayed medical evacuation to Australia, as a treatable bacterial infection develops into septicaemia.

Mass hunger strike

More than 500 men begin a two-week hunger strike in protest against conditions on the island. Two stitch their lips together, three swallow razor blades and collapsing strikers have to be forcibly removed by security.

Healthcare failings revealed

A Guardian investigation reveals widespread failings in the healthcare services provided by IHMS in detention centres, including Manus Island.

Rape allegation

A PNG woman employed by Transfield alleges she was raped by Australian colleagues inside the centre. The alleged perpetrators are flown out of the country.

Supreme court rules Manus illegal

Papua New Guinea supreme court rules the detention centre is illegal and unconstitutional and must be closed.

Manus to close

Australia confirms Manus detention centre will close but says none of the 854 men still there will be resettled in Australia.

Faysal Ishak Ahmed dies

Sudanese refugee Faysal Ishak Ahmed dies after six months of suffering numerous blackouts, falls and seizures inside the detention centre.

Services shut down

PNG immigration officials confirm the centre will close on 31 October, and tell detainees to ‘consider their options’. Over the following months basic services are shut down around detainees, to encourage them to leave

$70m compensation

The Australian government settles a class action, paying $70m compensation to more than 2,000 detainees for illegal detention and mistreatment, but denies any liability.

Hamed Shamshiripour dies

Iranian asylum seeker Hamed Shamshiripour is found dead, having taken his own life. His friends say they pleaded with the Australian government to provide treatment for his mental health problems.

First detainees flown to US

Twenty-five men leave Papua New Guinea for the US under a resettlement deal between Australia and the US. The total number to be transferred is still uncertain, with the US under no obligation to take a set amount.

Sri Lankan refugee dies

A formally recognised refugee dies in Lorengau hospital.

Detainees refuse to leave

A week before it’s due to close, it’s revealed more than 600 detainees are refusing to leave the centre, citing fears for their safety in Lorengau.

155 comments on “Friggit! ”

  1. Sparky 1

    Yes I somehow don’t think Australia is going to be too intimidated by NZ’s little bathtub navy. I would suggest the UN is probably the best place for this to be aired……

    • Zorb6 1.1

      Totally agree.Chill Bill,this is not NZ’s problem.

    • Bill 1.2

      Who said anything about intimidation?

      In the aftermath of the Kaikoura quake

      aid supplies, including food, medicine and portable toilets are being loaded into the amphibious sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury, which evacuated around 450 people out of Kaikoura yesterday. The ship will return to Kaikoura tonight.

  2. Muttonbird 2

    After being marched out of there at gunpoint, where are they supposed to go?

  3. greywarshark 3

    A Chilean sports ground scenario?

    The UN has had this subject ‘aired’ before, there is so much methane arising from it that a naked flame might Woosh. Time is of the essence, we need to refuel, plan have a Plan B and get going you Three Musketeers. All for one and stay staunch in the old round polly cage.

    NZ has better than a bathtub navy. I suggest that we get down to it and go against all the w…rs that would rather let someone else die than go against the Holy Writ of whatever is the proper procedure.

  4. Matthew Whitehead 4

    Yep, have to agree that it’s time we should really consider just going straight to the PNG government and sending a frigate to secure the camp.

  5. Whispering Kate 5

    The UN is as useless as teats on a boar hog. It’s time to be bold and show the world that we care. A frigate will do very nicely and to hell with our “cordial relations” with Australia. Our relationship with them soured long ago. What can happen if we do this – nothing, Australia can bleat and witter as much as they like but we are our own people and CER will still carry on as trade is omnipotent and countries will trade regardless with despicable nations all for the power of money – just like we do with Saudi Araba. Grow some cajones Jacinda and “let’s do this”.

    • Zorb6 5.1

      You can’t be serious!All NZ’s goodwill with our Aussie cousins sacrificed on an altar of altruism.?So many causes for some,who seem quite oblivious to the real world.

      • Whispering Kate 5.1.1

        Zorb6 – what goodwill do we share with our “Aussie cousins” – don’t call them cousins to me – they treat us like shit – you need to have a long hard look at our so called cousins. We have a hostile neighbour who doesn’t give a damn about us. The Australian PM and that Dutton creature are a disgrace to international relations. You have a lot of air between your ears mate – god knows what you call friendship – what an oddity you are.

        • Zorb6

          Well I have as many rellies there as I do here.They are decent people.I may not agree with you,but that hardly makes me an ‘oddity’.You have a sanctimonious,judgemental ,superior attitude,that quite clearly needs addressing.

          • greywarshark

            Hey this isn’t all about you Zorb6 though you turn it towards you with your constant complaints and efforts to distance us from the world that it is more convenient for you to ignore. Your attitudes need addressing. Why don’t you go back to the blog-bog that you came from.

            • Zorb6

              Its as much about me as it is about you.If you can’t accept that not everyone marches to your tune,maybe you should ‘go back to where you came from’.

  6. James 6

    Our new PM won’t send the navy.

  7. Macro 7

    This is the latest report by UNHCR spokesperson Nai Jit Lam

    I am currently on Manus Island right now. And I want to share a very quick update on the situation here. Exactly three weeks since the closure of the regional processing centre on 31 October the situation on the ground is very serious, and it is deteriorating by the day. 300 refugees and asylum seekers continue to remain in what is now the decommissioned processing centre. As they [the refugees and asylum seekers] refuse to be moved the standoff remains. The people that we have spoken to are extremely angry and they see this as an opportunity to tell the world and to show the world, years of anger about how they have been treated over the four years, after being forcibly transferred to Papua New Guinea.

    Without distribution of food and clean water over the last three weeks, the situation is becoming quite difficult. We have seen today at the centre that there has been significant accumulation of waste and rubbish. Under the hot and humid weather, health and sanitation is becoming a very significant issue and can be quite concerning as well. The asylum seekers and refugees have received the last one month’s supply of regular medication which was dispensed by one of the former Australian contracted health providers. We have seen for ourselves, while visiting the former processing centre this week that people are increasingly, physically and mentally unwell. The lack of clean water; As you probably have seen, the refugees and asylum seekers have been digging wells. Together with the associated risk of disease this is becoming a major concern.

    After three weeks and constant announcements that alternative accommodation outside the centre and together with the services are ready, what we have observed so far actually represents a very different picture. The accommodation outside of the former centre is still under construction. We were there and saw for ourselves that they are trying to complete the site as quickly as possible. But the fact remains that major work is still in progress and might take a couple of weeks before completion.

    Beyond the physical accommodation that we have been talking about, the most basic services needed for asylum seekers and refugees are still not adequately provided for outside the centre. We have mentioned earlier and it is still the case that where you have medical care, mental health and psycho-social support which is so important for some of the most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers who have suffered under this Australian offshore policy… It does not look like these have been in place outside the centre at the moment as well.

    We observed that initially four caseworkers were planned to look after over 700 individuals’ wellbeing. From what we have observed firsthand, none are operating as of today. And this is due to local contractual disputes among people here as well. So it is quite concerning that it is still not up and running. The other concerning issues that we have observed are regarding security and the lack of interpreters on the Island, that brings about the issue of how they would communicate with local people or even the police as well. That remains a concern.

    Local community tensions still remain. In fact, in the last three to four days, there were two incidents reported. When we talked to people in the new accommodation site, one of the [security incidents] was in the middle of the night: Someone from the local village came and switched off the generator because it was too noisy. Yesterday there was a blockade of a road by local people at the main site of what we call West Lorengau Haus inside the accommodation in the community. So there is a lot of tension and a lot of anxiety and fear as well of what is happening. And that’s hasn’t been resolved.

    UNHCR has been maintaining a constant presence on the ground since before 31 October. In fact, I was here before the 31st and this is my second mission, while my colleagues and key members are doing so on a rotational basis to keep a continued presence here to monitor the situation. And like I said, this is becoming quite concerning because nothing has effectively changed very much and the stand-off continues as well.

    What we have been dealing with right now are the consequences of the problem that was created four years ago, when Australia forcibly transferred people, refugees and asylum seekers to PNG and Nauru under their offshore policy. What we want to say right now and what we are calling for is that Australia must take responsibility, continue to take responsibility and play an active role in achieving solutions. Australia must take responsibility for the protection, assistance and solutions for the refugees here on Manus Island.

  8. Ed 8

    Norman Kirk did it.


    And the Herald supported him.


  9. greywarshark 9

    I’ve thought of a good cartoon. Jacinda is in a low frigate type boat, watching out over the stern shouting out encouraging instructions to the refugees who are entering the sea and swimming to hold onto numerous ropes towed behind.

    From her are coming various speech bubbles with positive messages like –
    I will be dropping float vests in the water, grab one as it goes past, there are enough for all of you.

    And we will have floating messages of advice from the experience of Rob Hewitt a NZr who was in the sea for four days. You can be in NZ in that time, but read what he says and keep moving your toes so the fish don’t bite them off.

    And keep fuelled up with packs of nutritious NZ made milk chocolate, full cream, suck on them and keep swimming.

    When you get to NZ we will have hot cups of tea and buttered toast for you and you will be wrapped in warm blankets. We are here for you all the way.

    Seriously, I am sure we have a navy with very able experienced people knowing how to do emergency disaster assistance. And we could call on the overseas disaster people like Oxfam, Shelter, Medecine Sans Frontieres, also others in NZ that have the background.

    And get this all on video, it will be as heart-warming as the guys leading the flock of cranes to their feeding grounds in the links below. And there would be no way we could be knee-capped after people saw our efforts.

    • Zorb6 9.1

      I didn’t think LSD was still around these days.

    • greywarshark 9.2

      We have just had a useful military exercise that could be turned to good effect on Manus Island helping the PNG.

      Exercise Southern Katipo, backed by amphibious ships, aircraft and armoured vehicles, has been designed to test the ability of combined forces to plan and conduct joint operations involving sea, land and air.

      Lieutenant colonel Martin Dransfield said the scenario was one where New Zealand leads a coalition force into a fictitious country,
      ‘to restore law and order and provide humanitarian aid.’


    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      When you get to NZ we will have hot cups of tea and buttered toast for you and you will be wrapped in warm blankets. We are here for you all the way.

      Meanwhile behind Ardern, trudges a whole line of scrawny hungry Kiwi school kids going to classes every morning without government provided hot buttered toast and chocolate milk.

      • greywarshark 9.3.1

        Every time there is an expensive search and rescue for some yachties who have sailed off in a spirit of derring-do, freedom and adventure and come unstuck, try saying we can’t afford that, and it was their own decision, or it’s user pays and present them with a bill for quarter of a million. These people on Manus Island are in our sights because they are people like us and been through sad and punishing years of containment by the convict colony, and we need to try to keep some standards of fairness flying if we aspire to be a modern, civilised nation.

        • Colonial Viper

          Do we do S&R for yachties lost around Australia or PNG or Indonesia? Or just around our area of responsibility?

          These people on Manus Island are in our sights because they are people like us

          No they’re not. We have no kinship, citizenship, cultural, tribal, family or blood ties with them. Unlike Kiwis who are people like us and who are homeless in Auckland, in Sydney, in Melbourne, in Brisbane.

          No one is proposing housing these Kiwis on the Canterbury – why not?

          A modern civilised nation looks after its own first, not last. If you want to be charitable, that begins at home.

          The Manus Island refugees have their own friends, families and countries which must take responsibility for them.

          Give the NGO’s a couple of million dollars to help out if we must, but don’t assume the burden of the PNG and Australian Governments, we have our own things to get on with.

          if we aspire to be a modern, civilised nation.

          Last I looked we had 300,000 Kiwi kids living in daily poverty. Our aspirations (fantasies) in this direction are irrelevant if we can’t even sort that out in our own backyard let alone 6,000kms away.

          • greywarshark

            What would you know about living in a modern civilised nation. NZ is marginally near to that description but has never achieved it. So you only know what you know, and describe very unsatisfactory things that are happening here which really underlines my first point. We would like one day to be a modern, civilised nation though. But have a few barriers.

            • Colonial Viper

              btw I appreciated your reply to North yesterday; you went out of your way to do that, thank you gws.

          • mpledger

            You as a white NZer might not but there are other NZ citizens who may.

            It doesn’t have to be either/or. We can help NZers and help non-NZers.

            I am generally a person who thinks the govt should prioritise NZ citizens cares and concerns over others but the treatment of these people on Manus Island is so appalling that someone needs to get Australia to do the right thing.

            It’s not that great for Australians either – if the government can behave so appallingly badly to people under their care then citizens must wonder where will they stop and if it will effect them.

            • Colonial Viper

              that someone needs to get Australia to do the right thing.

              AGREE 100% with your comment here. NZ can apply many different kinds of pressure to do this – but taking the problem off Canberra’s hands is not going to teach “Australia to do the right thing.”

              • Matthew Whitehead

                There is absolutely no way Australia will do the right thing in this case, and their deal with the US is most likely a polite fiction at this point. If NZ doesn’t step in, nobody will help.

                • Macro

                  Some 50 + have been assessed and are now in the States which is good news to hear.

                  From UNHCR

                  Although UNHCR was not party to the recent Australia-United States’ relocation arrangement, UNHCR has helped facilitate the referrals of more than 1,200 refugees form Papua New Guinea and Nauru to the United States. To date, 54 refugees have departed for the US. Another 500 people are still waiting for the outcome of the refugee status determination processing being carried out by authorities in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, under the Australian arrangement.

                  • Matthew Whitehead

                    For clarity, that’s about 1/15th of the total number on Manus, I believe, when they’re supposed to be taking so many that they would only leave 100 behind between Manus and Nauru?

                    • Macro

                      It’s difficult to get a true handle on just how many are on Manus and Nauru. The figures being reported keep changing daily.
                      Essentially Australia has handed over all responsibility to PNG and PNG are carrying out the vetting process. I would assume that if, and when, an Asylum Seeker was given a negative final assessment they would have been flown out fairly quickly – as occurs here. So the percentage of genuine refugees would be steadily increasing (assuming the deterrence of detention on Manus and Nauru was having the effect of reducing the flow of boat people). As of June 2016 it was reported that around 87% on Manus had been determined to be genuine Refugees.
                      Just where the figure of 500 still awaiting the outcome of their refugee status comes from, I have no idea.
                      But yes, if the US were to accept the full quota initially negotiated, it would indicate only around 100 left. But then, those remaining, may well not be granted genuine Refugee status, so would be ineligible to come here. The processing of those seeking Asylum is usually done in the country where they first arrive, and then arrangements made for their resettlement. (As Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees the plight of people arriving there seeking refuge is rather bleak – so naturally they tend to want to travel on to a country which they mistakenly believe will offer them solace)
                      As a matter of interest, at this point in time there are 22.5 Million Refugees (including 5.3 Million Palestinian).

              • Macro

                You realise that the Australian Minister of Immigration is Peter Dutton don’t you?
                A more bigoted, xenophobic, nasty piece of work it is difficult to imagine. And lest we forget Australia is not backward in dealing to it’s own people in such a barbaric way.

                • Colonial Viper

                  These detainees are going to need a large amount of medical, mental health and psychological care, wherever they end up.

                  IMO we don’t do anything to help the Australia and PNG unless we get something valuable in return from them. Enough of NZ being a soft touch for other countries to unload their unwanted problems and costs on to.

  10. In Vino 10

    As a matter of interest, how many people can one of our rather diminutive frigates carry? We might have to send both, assuming we have two that are operational.

    • Cinny 10.1

      Send a frigate and the tanker, there should be room enough for everyone on both.

      Tanker and frigate can practise RAS then, good practice for all of them.

      More than likely the real reason aussie doesn’t want it to happen is that it makes them look bad.

      Excellent post Bill, totally agree with you.

      • Zorb6 10.1.1

        Why bother with a frigate?Send a jet liner and get them here quicksmart for those hot cups of tea and buttered toast.

    • Bill 10.2

      HMNZS Canterbury can carry between 400 and 500 (with caveats) if I read this correctly.

      • Cinny 10.2.1

        Sweet. I think she can take about 250 troops plus vehicles, she has a large cargo space. Cargo alone can fit 14 Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles, 16 NZLAV light armoured vehicles, 7 Unimog trucks, 2 ambulances, 2 flatbed trucks, 7 vehicle trailers, 2 rough terrain forklifts, 4 ATV-type vehicles and up to 33 20 ft TEU containers.

        The tanker only needs a crew of around 50 at the most to run her, she is being decommissioned in April next year, one more trip to PNG would be a fantastic. It’s not like she hasn’t been in those waters many times before.

        Wiki 🙂

  11. weka 11

    Good post, thanks. I agree, send a frigate.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    I must say that Lefties always seem to get a real kick out of being White Knights. Send in the troops! (Or at least, the seamen!)

    Once NZ picks up these 300, word is going to get around the neighbouring region that Kiwis are a soft touch and there’ll be another 300 ready for us to rescue this time next month. Or 3,000. Or 13,000.

    But why think ahead that far?

    Instead we could tie the Canterbury up in Auckland Harbour and let homeless Kiwis living in cars park their vehicles onboard where they can be fed, kept warm, provided medical care, clothing, support etc. by the NZ military and social services, instead of our defence forces sticking their nose in where they are not welcome.

    But whatever, let’s divert resources to strangers first, using NZ resources to solve problems for the Australian Government and letting Canberra off the hook for their bad behaviour and responsibilities.

    • McFlock 12.1

      Canberra’s not on a hook. They don’t give a shit. The only people on the hook are the detainees.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Ride to the rescue then.

        • McFlock

          I’ll use the frigate in my backyard, shall I?

          Oh, wait, I forgot. The guy who stacked a Labour Party branch because the party wasn’t left wing enough for him is now firmly in the camp of “fuck you, jack, I’m okay”. These days he’d rather use alt-right terminology to mock people for saying the world could be a less shitty place.

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s a shame you can’t conduct a decent conversation on the topic at hand but you can virtue signal like mad.

            • McFlock

              It’s a shame that you can’t comment these days without using alt-right slang as a substitute for thought.

              Do you have the glossary of terms bookmarked in your web browser, or did you print it off so you can read it by tiki-torchlight?

              Your “must say” of last night opened with a trivialisation of people wanting to help (“white knights”), went into a typical floodgates hysterical prediction, a false dichotomy (using frigates to reduce NZ homelessness is not a substitute for using them to rescue the MI asylum seekers – it won’t solve homelessness, we already run the frigates, and we already have refugee relocation facilities to handle thousands a year). Oh, yes, and you finished off by calling the asylum seekers “strangers”, because these days you only think you should help people if you know them.

              And you wanted a “decent conversation” about that? The only decent response to that comment is “piss off, tory”.

              • Colonial Viper

                Your virtuous white knight act and cheap slurs is boring McFlock.

                Once people in the region know that NZ is a soft touch, they will line up to come here and why not. A million people in PNG live in absolute poverty, insecurity and instability.

                How many would you like us to transport to our shores, McFlock.

                If we opened up a hundred thousand new permanent residents visas to NZ to the desperate in and around PNG, Indonesia, Philippines, they would be filled by the end of the month.

                And a hundred thousand the month after that. And after that.

                Meanwhile thousands of Kiwis are homeless in Australia, and in NZ, yet you and Labour are keen to grant millions of dollars and go to heroic military efforts to help strangers who are not our responsibility and have no connection at all to New Zealand by ancestory, citizenship, familial or blood ties.

                Charity starts at home with our own people and our own communities, not by shouldering the problems of the Australian and PNG Government.

              • Colonial Viper

                and we already have refugee relocation facilities to handle thousands a year).

                Almost believable McFlock, except that for many years, our refugee quota has only been 750 per year and was only recently upped to 1000 per year.

                • McFlock

                  I’ll keep the important bits of your comment:

                  floodgates yadda yadda.

                  Charity starts at home with our own people and our own communities, …

                  The eternal refrain of the selfish fuckwit.

                  for many years, our refugee quota has only been 750 per year and was only recently upped to 1000 per year.

                  So we can definitely handle the ones on manus, no problem. Point stands.

                  There are many problems in the world. Manus Island detainees is one we can solve permanently, with little effort. Why shouldn’t we?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Thanks for confirming that you exaggerated and made up numbers on NZ’s current refugee management capacity.

                    • McFlock

                      Hey, I got the relocation facilities from the same place you got 13,000 asylum seekers coming here next month.

                      But the point was that the number of MI asylum seekers is smaller than the current refugee quota we handle every year. Helping them won’t come out of the “let’s end homelessness” line item.

    • tracey 12.2

      ” New Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd announces people who seek asylum by boat will never be settled in Australia, with all sent to Manus or Nauru. ”
      Pretty sure that despite this people keep trying for Australia. So soft touch or hard touch they keep coming.

    • DoublePlusGood 12.3

      – We can send a frigate and build housing for homeless New Zealanders. Let’s not reduce this complex issue to a silly false dichotomy.

      – If there are more people to rescue, send the frigate again.

      – There are plenty of ways to not let Australia off the hook. I would have ejected their ambassador already for a start.

  13. vto 13

    The refugees are effectively still floating around in a boat in the middle of the ocean near to our shores.

    As such NZ should do what it would do if they were floating around in a boat in the middle of the ocean near to our shores.

    What would Jacinda do if they were if they were floating around in a boat in the middle of the ocean near to our shores?

    What would you do Jacinda?
    That is what you should do.

    Forget Australia 100%. Our relationship with them is sunk. Nothing but contempt for those wankers

  14. I get why we sent a frigate to Muroroa atoll – the French couldn’t test while it was there and couldn’t take the approach they took to Greenpeace (send some blokes out to beat them up and tow their boat away) without starting a war. But it’s not clear what purpose one would serve at Manus Island – what’s the use case?

    • Cricklewood 14.1

      Warm Fuzzies? Cant see what else it would do… it seems unlikely PNG would let it into port and then take a load of refugees given Aus pour in over 500mil in aid every year…
      Be symbolic at best and the negatives would no doubt out weigh the positives…

  15. Ad 15

    The Prime Minister’s proposal for direct funding to on the ground NGOs is faster and more effective, with zero political downside, and involves no unnecessary military wank.

    • tracey 15.1

      And perhaps, seeing as the UN supports her concerns, some peacekeepers on the ground?

      • Ad 15.1.1

        It’s not a war.

        Aid workers not gun workers.

        • Macro

          Yes they are definitely in need of Aid workers. Of the 4 promised for the around 700 persons left! – none were there.
          Just what 4 people would be able to achieve in these circumstances is questionable.

  16. tracey 16

    When we publicalky stand up to the Aussies people get anxious we will upset them and get punished. When we dont stand up to them they walk over our diplomatic arses( ask kiwis living in Oz) and we get punished. Am just wondering what the long term answer is.

  17. james 17

    I did not know (until this morning) – that they have all been given the option of permanent residency in Papua New Guinea.

    Should that not solve the problem?

    • Zorb6 17.1

      They do not like the lifestyle in PNG.They prefer Australia or NZ.One poster claims they are doctors,teachers ,carpenters,skilled workers,so maybe the have better prospects workwise here than in PNG,where they would probably end up cutting hair and driving cabs.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1

        Or being murdered.

      • james 17.1.2

        “They do not like the lifestyle in PNG.”

        So they escaped their home country – and another country offers to give them settlement, but “They do not like the lifestyle” there?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Or being murdered.

          • Colonial Viper

            The PNG government is planning to massacre the people who take up their offer of residence?

            Better tell the UN, if that were actually the case I’m sure that it would be contrary to both domestic and international law.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              They’re already there. Quick, sneer at them.

              • Colonial Viper

                All the more reason for the Manus Island detainees to accept offers of permanent resettlement by the PNG government.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Sneer at them too. Classy.

                  • Zorb6

                    I don’t know how many times you need to be put to bed,but you can’t seem to discuss the situation with anything other than some imaginery mindset of self righteous indignation,when confronted with plausible concerns.

                • Bill

                  Seriously CV. Go away and read some stuff about Manus and the genuine fears of the men still there before commenting further. Please.

            • Bill

              No-one has said the PNG government is planning a massacre.

              Here’s the Nauru files (2013 -2015). Different centre, same culture, far smaller generally (it seems) antagonistic local population.

              • Colonial Viper

                Interesting how local NZ pakeha culture – so quickly dismissed as racist by some – is far more accepting of these kinds of refugees and detainees than the indigenous local peoples of PNG are.

                • Bill

                  You got any idea why people in PNG are antagonistic towards the refugees? Any at all?

                  Here’s a wee hint.

                  Ranked 153rd out of 187 countries on the United Nations human development index, Papua New Guinea is currently struggling to look after its own people. It is plagued with extremely high levels of corruption and political instability. There is no true social security system for its population, and excruciatingly high living costs, unemployment and crime.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You’re telling me that demand on scarce resources, scarce budgets, and corrupt bureaucrats explains why locals are antagonistic towards the refugees?

                • Bill

                  Here’s another. Have a listen. And when you’ve done listening, as I’ve asked before, do some fucking reading and a bit less spouting.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So the West Papuan situation has been ongoing since the 1960s and now all of a sudden NZ should intervene in the goings on there?

                    How do you think the West Papuans are going to feel when their plight, lack of official status and poverty has been ignored so long yet NZ spends millions on these detainees and gives them priority residency?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      How do you think the West Papuans are going to feel…?

                      Uncomfortable at being co-opted into sneering virtue signals by the Dunedin People’s Front?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No idea what that claptrap means OAB so I’ll ignore it

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No idea what that claptrap means

                      It’s easily explained.

                      You used the alleged feelings of the West Papuans (as though they are some sort of hive mind) to score a debating point: the very essence of virtue signalling.

                      I posit that some of them might feel uncomfortable at their situation being exploited by a petty bourgeois blogger in this way.

                      I hope that helps.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I posit that you have zero idea what the West Papuans will think about NZ swooping in with millions to help the foreign detainees in their midst while (still) ignoring them.

                      Bet you it ain’t going to be good though.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That’s what the word “might” means.

                      I have as much ground for my opinion (of what people in WPNG think) as you do: none whatsoever. Well apart from the various threats some of them have issued.

                      I put those threats down to local bigots who never lift a finger to help anyone, no matter how much they insist that “charity begins at home”.

                      I can’t think of anyone around here who fits that description. Can you?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I put those threats down to local bigots who never lift a finger to help anyone, no matter how much they insist that “charity begins at home”.

                      explain how a privileged comfortably off white skin like yourself is justified in calling local indigenous people of colour struggling to raise their families in poverty “bigots.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Easy: I’m not seeking or claiming justification. I already explained that I have precisely as much ground for my worthless opinion as you do for yours.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Thanks for acknowledging and backing off your white privilege so quickly.

                      In future don’t be so quick to label indigenous people of colour with your own prejudices.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sure thing, Karl Rove.

          • joe90

            Or being murdered.

            The Australian government admitted as much.

            Six power-point modules seen by The Citizen were used to “educate” asylum seekers about life in PNG.

            The slides and accompanying notes painted a picture of a country plagued by crime, random violence and deadly diseases.

            The Citizen understands the Department of Immigration and Border Protection approved the use of the modules after requesting education material be compiled by Salvation Army staff in Port Moresby.


            Regarding corruption, asylum seekers were told: “Police may ask for money or sexual favours in return for not imprisoning or beating you.”

            The notes continued: “[The police] might also commit crimes themselves, such as bashing or killing someone, in return for a small bribe.


            The modules also provided frank details about child abuse in PNG: “Physical and sexual violence against children has been common, especially in families where the mother is also abused.”

            A session on public safety covered topics including criminal gangs, tribal wars, human trafficking, crocodiles and volcanoes.

            Asylum seekers were also told that half of all deaths in PNG were caused by diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, rabies, HIV/AIDS, cholera and typhoid.



            in families where the mother is also abused


    • Puckish Rogue 17.2

      Well no because thats not where they want to live, they want to live in Australia and will see NZ as a convenient back door

      Also warm fuzzies for Jacinda

      • Stunned Mullet 17.2.1

        Oh I think once they get to NZ they’ll be quite happy to live here and bring their families in under the family reunification rules.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I hope I’m right and you’re wrong on this but I get the feeling I’m the one thats wrong…

          • Stunned Mullet

            Oh I’m sure i’m right. if it comes to pass that they’re taken in by NZ we’ll all be able to feel such pride in NZ when the overseas papers trumpet NZ’s wonderfulness.

            • McFlock

              You guys really don’t understand doing good for its own sake, do you? You think it’s so the international media like us.

              • stunned mullet

                “You guys really don’t understand doing good for its own sake, do you?”

                Says the blowhard on the interwebs.

                • McFlock

                  that would be a “no, we don’t” then.

                  • stunned mullet

                    😆 go for walk and enjoy the weather Mcflock, hanging out at this blog all day will ruin your sense of humour.

                    • McFlock

                      Aye, that’s often good advice, and ’tis a lovely day.

                      But grumpy as I occasionally get here, it actually improves my day. How’s that for a thought? Without getting into the specifics of what I do, it often (though not always) involves the cold and sterile tabulation of a sea of misery.

                      And the arguments here sometimes get me counting happy things, lol

                      But my tummy doth rumble, so I’ll go offline shortly…

      • OnceWasTim 17.2.2

        “……..they want to live in Australia…….”
        Bullshit @PR. But you can believe that if it makes you feel good.
        Whilst they may have initially thought they were escaping to a better place, sure as shit they don’t want to live in Australia now.

    • Macro 17.3

      There are around 40,000 inhabitants on Manus Island, around 2% of that number are Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Here is an account from the UNHCR representative who is currently on the Island and is reporting directly to the UN
      Here is what he has to say about the current tensions between the locals and the detainees:

      Local community tensions still remain. In fact, in the last three to four days, there were two incidents reported. When we talked to people in the new accommodation site, one of the [security incidents] was in the middle of the night: Someone from the local village came and switched off the generator because it was too noisy. Yesterday there was a blockade of a road by local people at the main site of what we call West Lorengau Haus inside the accommodation in the community. So there is a lot of tension and a lot of anxiety and fear as well of what is happening. And that’s hasn’t been resolved.

      Last night the local police arrived in force – smashed all the drinking water stored by the detainees and trashed the buildings and then forcably removed around 50 of the detainees from the camp. Contrary to the Australian Govt’s assurances that the accommodation outside the camp has been completed the UNHCR rep reports that it is still under construction.
      If you had been forcibly detained in a hell hole for 4 years and treated like shit would you want to remain there?

    • Cinny 17.4

      Have any of you been to PNG or know people who have lived there or worked there?

      No way on earth I’d want to live there or ever take my children there.

      I’d rather live in a war zone

  18. Adrian 18

    Plenty of people come here as potential “refugees “, they get a temporary work permit and go back to where they came from when it runs out, albeit mostly to wealthy countries, the same thing that Kiwis do when their visas run out.
    i have a problem with ” economic refugees”, but no problem with those whose lives are at serious risk because of war or political bravery.
    its a hard task sorting out who, what, when, but absolutely open borders are a real problem with maintaining decent wages and enough jobs for NZers.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      i have a problem with ” economic refugees”, but no problem with those whose lives are at serious risk because of war or political bravery.

      Drought, for example, is a major source of “economic” migration, as are extreme weather events.

      • OnceWasTim 18.1.1

        Could an ‘economic refugee’ also be a Kiwi who can’t get a decent paying job in Nu Zull crossing the Tassie to work in the WA mines or in QLD? Especially knowing that if things go tits up, there’s always a benefit awaiting back home.

        Could they be a Brit (or a Canadian for that matter) who discovers that because their pound/$ is worth double in Nu Zull, an average shithole in Hull could buy them a better lifestyle for mum and the kuds? And of course their friends who’ve gone before will be ready to assure them that an average supervisory job in the U.K will almost certainly translate into a public service job because 30 years of neo-liberalism in Kiwiland has left a good many believing that if they’ve come from the right (white) side of the empire, they must be better.

        Or could they be a billionaire who’s fond of collecting passports simply wanting to set up a bolt hole if and when things turn to shit?

        Or could they be someone wealthy – earnings from dubious means wanting to make things look respectable?

        And was that 1951 UN Convention ‘thingie’ that Australia has breached (on several grounds) merely ‘aspirational’?

      • Macro 18.1.2

        The status of “economic refugee” is one that is not recognised by the UNHCR. As the large majority of Asylum seekers on Manus are from Iran, (Possibly Kurds) and have been assessed as genuine refugees (87% as of June 2016 with about 200 still awaiting their final assessment) by PNG and UNHCR officials, it is highly unlikely that many on Manus have fled there because of economic circumstance.

        • OnceWasTim

          “The status of “economic refugee” is one that is not recognised by the UNHCR.”

          Indeed! Which is probably why the likes of Australia has been so eagre to brand as many refugees as they can as such.

          What’s amusing (from the point of view of it being a bit depressing) is the hypocrisy of those so willing to apply the various labels to those pesky refugees (including Zorbs et al).
          You’ve got so many that either hold, OR are eligble for dual nationality/statehood desperately trying to dream up reasons why others shouldn’t be eligible to have any sort of affinity with a single nation or state.
          And as we’ve seen, so many can’t even abide by the laws and constitution of the Okker nation-state they profess to be so protective of (Australian politicians – and the Kiwi ones in support of their Anzacistan big brothers).
          … what’s also kind of funny in a beige-humour, Pete George, Brownlee, gNatzi troll kind of way, is that they profess to be concerned that IF NZ intervened and took 150, it’d provide them with a back door to Australia – AS IF ANY OF THEM would ever want to have anything to do with the place in the near/distant future.

        • Colonial Viper

          There are large Kurdish populations in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

          There are tens of thousands of Kurds who live in Lebanon – a peaceful, stable democracy.

          Any Kurds on Manus Island could be easily and safely relocated amongst their own people and their own culture – unless their primary goal is to flee to the west for other reasons.

          AS IF ANY OF THEM would ever want to have anything to do with the place in the near/distant future.

          Bet you they would still go to Australia right this second if they were offered residents visas.

          • Macro

            FYI NZ has accepted a number of Kurdish Asylum seekers as refugees. They have assimilated into NZ society perfectly well, as have the majority of Refugees to which NZ offers sanctuary.

            • Colonial Viper

              I know of a number of Syrian families who have been relocated to Dunedin. Some have made big efforts to integrate into the local community and culture, others have made no effort. Horses for courses.

              IMO refugees should be settled in areas as near as practical to their extended families, communities and traditional homelands. You can’t rebuild a life if you don’t even know or accept the local language and customs of where you are.

              • McFlock

                Get out a map of… anywhere. But particularly the areas with current wars.

                Select a country. Look at the neighbours it has a common border with. Most of the time, there’s either ongoing tension overflowing into occasional violence already, or there’s ongoing tension overflowing into occasional violence already and they have a different language and culture.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Syria and Iraq are the most stable and peaceful today than in years.

                  This is thanks to the crushing of ISIS and Al Qaeda/Al Nusra, and the effective military and diplomatic termination of the US/Anglo “Assad must go” regime change programme. (Russia, China and Iran being the key players behind this success).

                  Lebanon, Jordan and Iran are stable, peaceful countries which have taken on many refugees from Syria, refugees who are starting to return home to rebuild.

                  As for “tension” and “violence” in the Middle East, there’s nothing new in that.

                  • McFlock

                    The Jordaninans have enough problem with palestinian refugees. Kurdish refugees in particular wouldn’t want to touch Turkey or Iran with a barge pole. Lebanon is on a political knife edge. Iraq is still in the shit.

                    And besides all that, why send people to Iran or Jordan as opposed to NZ? The “local language and customs” argument breaks down pretty darn quickly.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And besides all that, why send people to Iran or Jordan as opposed to NZ?

                      because they will be familiar with the language, customs, religion and have extended family and tribal relationships to draw upon.

                    • McFlock

                      For an expert on the world, you seem unaware of the diversity that is the Middle East.

                  • Macro

                    Lebanon already hosts 1 million refugees who are awaiting resettlement – that’s almost 1/6 th of the population. I’m sure they would jump at the chance to go there. Jordan has just under a million, and Iran is where they were from in the first place!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep. All we would need to do to make a huge difference is to provide a bit of expertise and money to those nations.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You can’t rebuild a life if you don’t even know or accept the local language and customs of where you are.

                ,..just don’t forget that if you do all these things, the people who insist you do them. and get all bent out of shape about it, will still discriminate against you.


          • OnceWasTim

            Of course they would @CV, because Australia is better than a PNG concentration camp where (no doubt you’re aware) there have been deaths, beatings and a population that sees them as an inconvenience they want nothing to do with.
            What the fuck happened to you TL over the past couple of years that’s turned you into such a precious judgemental queen?

            And you speak of Lebanon ffs! You mean that ME place where outside forces (including the Saudis) are busy trying to destabilise.? That Lebanon?

            Actually don’t reply, because I’m sure it’ll trigger a Zorb/3stepsto/etc-like conversation in which you’d be determined to have the last word

            • Colonial Viper

              it’d provide them with a back door to Australia – AS IF ANY OF THEM would ever want to have anything to do with the place in the near/distant future.

              you said the above at Then you just said

              Of course they would @CV, because Australia is better than a PNG concentration camp

              Please explain which of your positions you want to go with. (Or do you want to go with both just to cover all bases).

              • OnceWasTim

                It is the Australian Government, not me or the refugee that is worried about back doors TL (or so they say).
                At – please quote in full.
                ……….. is that THEY profess to be concerned that IF NZ intervened and took 150, it’d provide them with a back door to Australia.
                You’re more of a manipulative little fuckwit than at first I thought TL.
                Thank Christ you’ve been neutered.
                What happened?
                As a matter of fek actually, to be frank, (going forward),
                I’d be rapt if they found a back door to permanent residency, then citizenship in Australia. Their chances of that happening unfortunately are slim

                • Zorb6

                  Own this-‘Whilst they may have initially thought they were escaping to a better place, sure as shit they don’t want to live in Australia now.’

                  • Colonial Viper

                    OWT is being disingenuous indeed. He clearly states that the refugees would not want “anything to do with the place” (Australia) again.

                    But then reverses his position.

                    And then clumsily denies reversing his position by distracting about backdoors and accusing ME of manipulation lol

                    • OnceWasTim

                      Actually CV you should probably have a listen to David Marr on RNZ this morning.
                      All they (most refugees) were doing were hoping to escape from various forms of persecution.

                      They were persuaded that Australia was a good option.
                      They then found that not to be the case, and indeed it became their nightmare – especially since Australia had decided to outsource what they perceived as their refugee problem to PNG.

                      I am not at all being disingenuous. They discovered PNG was not a very nice place to be (and btw – have you been there?)

                      So what you suggested was that they’d hop to Australia given the chance – I agree they would. But ONLY because it’s slightly better than where they are currently.

                      And yes, I do accuse you of manipulation.
                      And @Zorb – they’d prefer not to go to OZ given the way they’ve been treated AND I DO OWN IT.
                      You made some comment somewhere earlier about my being an expert,
                      In terms of refugees and migrants and various forms of exploitation (of both), and in all modesty – a fucking sight more of an expert than you obviously are.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They’d go to Oz in a heartbeat if offered PR or citizenship. I know it and you know it.

                      And tbh they should be with looked after by their families, spouses, children and communities instead of white skin virtue signalling strangers.

  19. Adrian 19

    I not sure but I wouldn’t think many on Manus are escaping drought, not considering how much they would have paid just to get on the boat.
    We need to find a way that makes staying home and building up a home country much more attractive than risking everything on a leaky boat ,or maybe something like an extension of the RSE scheme to more countries. The money going back to the home villages and countries just from the Marlborough wine industry is making a huge difference as well as changing some old entrenched ideas about Pacific Islanders in what has always been a pretty conservative region.

    • Macro 19.1

      Of the number still remaining on Manus the majority are from Iran. They will most likely have been seeking political Asylum, Seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Everyone has the right to freedom from fear. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution. Only a handful still on Manus are still awaiting a final assessment as to their status as refugees. In june 2016 87% had been assessed as genuine refugees (and the rest were still awaiting the final vetting) under the UNHCR convention . This vetting was being carried out by PNG authorities, with help from UNHCR. The status of genuine refugee entitles them to safety from being returned to danger, access to fair and efficient asylum procedures, and measures to ensure that their basic human rights are respected while they secure a longer-term solution – all of which is being denied them by the Australian Government.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2

      The “situation” in Iraq that was exacerbated by the drought in Syria you mean?

  20. Gabby 20

    We really should fix the countries they are fleeing. I’m surprised nobody’s thought of that. It might need two frigates though.

  21. timeforacupoftea 21

    If the UN was any good and had real compassion they would hire a cruise ship pick up the complete mob of 600 and deliver them to Wellington for our Prime Minister to meet and greet tomorrow, but they won’t. The UN are only blabber mouths that have done nothing for many years. No wonder the Yanks are sick of them.

    • Zorb6 21.1

      Why deliver them straight to Welly?After what they’ve been through they deserve a cruise around the Pacific,just to chill out before we roll out the red carpet.

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  • Good Employer Awards celebrate food and fibre sector
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  • PM's comments to NATO session
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  • Veterans Minister announces new focus on mental health for veterans and their whānau
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  • Keynote remarks: Tech 4 Democracy Summit, Madrid
    To Provost Muniz, to the Organisers at the Instituto de Empresa  buenas tardes and as we would say in New Zealand, kia ora kotou katoa.  To colleagues from the State Department, from Academia, and Civil Society Groups, to all our distinguished guests - kia ora tatou katoa. It’s a pleasure ...
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