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Labour plans emergency bill to increase refugee numbers

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, September 4th, 2015 - 67 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour - Tags:

Labour refugee bill

From Labour:

Labour will on Tuesday introduce an Emergency Humanitarian Response Bill to Parliament to bring an additional 750 refugees into New Zealand this year, Andrew Little says.

“We cannot stand by and wait for a review. This is a crisis and New Zealanders everywhere are demanding we open our doors to these most vulnerable people.

“All of the parties except National have expressed their desire to help, after seeing the tens of thousands of families flooding across Europe desperate for a new life. We have been a country that has welcomed refugees successfully in the past. Kiwis remember their communities rallying around families from Poland, Cambodia or Vietnam, helping to house, clothe and resettle those who have gone on to become great citizens.

“After seeing images this week of drowning children and people suffocating in cars as they risk everything for a new life, we must do this again. An emergency bill like this is not just needed, it’s critical. This bill is complementary to a Green Party bill to lift New Zealand’s ongoing refugee quota. What this legislation would do is compel action right now.

“Over the next few days I will be soliciting support with other parties for its swift passage through Parliament next week.

“We have the capacity to rescue 750 more refugees this year – we just need the will and the moral leadership to provide the resources to do it.

“If Parliament could do it for the Rugby World Cup, we can do it now for the refugees,” Andrew Little says.

67 comments on “Labour plans emergency bill to increase refugee numbers”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    One third of the people who will support this bill are the kind of rent-a-mob protesters who oppose everything John Key represents, another third are Labour/Green supporters, and the rest are misinformed.

    • Anne 1.1

      Of course. But you can be assured this Key govt. will now introduce an “emergency bill” of their own. They can’t let Labour show them up. Their bill will be in response to political concerns not humanitarian.

      If they don’t, Key will accuse Labour of… trying to make political capital out of a tragic situation. But I don’t think it will wash this time.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        OK, OK, approximately one third of the people who care about this bill are the kind of rent-a-mob protesters who oppose everything John Key represents, approximately another third are Labour/Green supporters, approximately another third are misinformed, and the opposing 0.1% are comprised of Mike Hoskings, Paul Henry, Sean Plunkett, the National Party, and the sociopaths that own the National Party.

        • Foreign waka

          The sad part is that a real tragedy that requires thoughtful attention and what one could call a traditional mainland European humanitarian approach is wittered away with grandstanding and politics, heartlessness and sheer greed.

          There might be a perception that this behavior is not noticed, but it is. And it will be remembered, don’t worry.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The right wing trash press Fairfax were calling the spiv’s stance “tough” just this morning. Now they’re complaining how his poor hand is being forced.

            I note your optimism.

      • mac1 1.1.2

        I see the Young Nats are at least seeing the political damage involved in Key’s lack of empathy. Maybe their lead will prod their elders into action.

  2. Tim 2

    What a pathetic response.

    Surely we should be look for a meaningful response not merely political point scoring.

    If we are really interested in helping then 10 – 20 thousand would show some humanity.

    • Nordy 2.1

      Yes Tim, what a pathetic response you have made. Clearly you and Key are kindred spirits.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      Sincerely, eat shit and die, Tim.

      [lprent: One week ban for advocating violence. You know better and I am irritated by the dumbarse flamewar it started while I was fighting traffic out of Auckland. ]

    • Bill 2.3

      I agree that 750 is pathetic. If anyone can come up with a compelling reason as to why something like 5000 isn’t the (minimal and initial) proposed number, then I’m all ears.

      By way of comparison, Iceland has a total population of 300 000 and (as far as I know) made no contribution to the western, Middle East clusterfuck. Currently
      12 000 people are offering to open their homes to refugees, and those who have relevant skills and resources are making them public and available.


      • BM 2.3.1

        According to Key it costs the NZ taxpayer around 60 million dollars per 1000 refugees in the first year and most are still on tax payer support 5 years later.

        $300 million out lay + ongoing expenses wouldn’t go down too well with the voting population.

        On a side note the cost of the flag referendum, which you letfies have been wailing about incessantly looks like rather small fry compared to this.

        Andrew Little, here be dragons.

        • Bill

          So, Johnny Boy reckons that each refugee will cost NZ $60 000 per year. Would love to see a breakdown of that figure. 😉

          Would also like to see the evidence that most refugees are unemployed after 5 years.

          And please, don’t lump me in with the ‘you lefties’ stuff. Cheers.

          Uh-huh, according to the Chinese horoscope I am indeed a dragon. How’d you know? Anyway, I can’t quite understand why Andrew Little would be interested in that or why you felt the need to tell him.

          • b waghorn

            The dragons bm talks of are the horrible fuckers that will try to twist and corrupt good intentions into supporting the reign of soulless key and his minions.

            • Bill

              Ah! So he’s referring to the likes of himself. Got it now. I think. Aren’t dragons meant to be, at least in some way, impressive though? 😉

        • Macro

          Key also reckons – note the word – “reckons” it costs $17 million for postage for the flag referendum! http://www.haurakiherald.co.nz/#folio=4
          Now assuming around 3 million voters in NZ (3.14 mill) at the last election that is a cost of $5.40 for postage per voter! yeah right!

        • Grey Area

          And you believe him?

        • Tracey

          Could you cite Key’ source for that claim?

          Bearing in mind that in 2013 only 23.5% of people polled fully believed anything he said.


      • leftie 2.3.2

        Bill, shouldn’t that be directed at National, the current government?

    • Tracey 2.4

      yeah, no point in saving folks, one person at a time…

      WHAT was Schindler thinking,

  3. Ad 3

    This feels like Good Labour.

  4. Tim 4

    Are we showing compassion.

    To quote the Green Party: We should be doing everything we can to help these refugees.

    Vote Labour get mediocrity. Vote Green get conviction.

    Who would you support.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Answer your own question. I think you support National and/or ACT, the hate parties.

    • weka 4.2

      Given the GP are dependent on Labour to form a govt, I’d support both. But this isn’t an election, it’s a humanitarian issue that needs urgent attention. You could talk about the actual issue or the bill, but using this to slag off Labour is fucked up (I’m a GP member and voter btw).

    • mickysavage 4.3

      The bills are complimentary. Labour’s will provide an immediate increase to 1,500 for the next year. The Greens’s bill will make the permanent level 1,000 per year. Not a time for the two parties to fight.

    • Tracey 4.4

      How many refugees are you offering to take into your home Tim?

  5. Macro 5

    There would appear to be a majority in Parliament to support raising the quota – even Dunne would support raising the quota to 1000!
    However the problem is will National allow consideration of either Denise Roche’s Bill (to raise the quota to 1000) or the Labour Bill to double the quota? They (National) could of course simply raise the quota at the stoke of a pen. But I think not.
    Now if this was a Bill to open the pubs till 5am for a sports tournament – No Problem! There’s money to be made there.
    But as this involves a humanitarian response to a crisis. Well that’s different – It might actually cost us money.

    • Kevin 5.1

      How does it feel, fisiani, to support a government that has to be humiliated into doing the right thing, EVERY. FUCKING. TIME.

    • AmaKiwi 5.2

      @ Marco

      “Humanitarian?” Better explain that.

      I checked my neoliberal dictionary.

      It says “Humanitarian: an archaic term denoting something that was unprofitable and therefore useless.”

  6. fisiani 6

    Too late by Labour. A humanitarian response is already been worked upon and will be announced on Monday by Honest John.

  7. Tim 7

    The tone of these comments merely reflect the current attitude of the party and why people like me no longer vote Labour.

    I still go to their fund raisers but until they find something they are prepared to stand for they are merely a shadow of what they were and have no solid convictions

    I have voted Labour in at least 8 elections so I am one of those votes they have lost

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Address the detail. The inter webs are full of claims of former labour voters changing allegiance.

      Labour’s and the Green’s proposals are complimentary. What is wrong with both being supported?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      The tone of my comments are those of a Green voter who isn’t a member of any political party, and I can smell bad-faith trash like you a mile away.

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    I winder if there are at least a few National party MPs with some values, conscience and above all some courage who will decide to defy their party and vote for this bill.

    • b waghorn 8.1

      Given there has been numerous reasons for a nat mp to show some values in the last 7 years ….and yet it hasn’t happened , don’t hold ya breath chief ,you’ll turn blue.

  9. Tim 9

    Being told to eat shit. Great advice for potential voter and perfectly reflects the intellectual capacity of the current Labour Party support system.

    I will share this dietary advice with my local Labour MP when I meet with him on Wednesday and again explain that why he gets 1 of the ticks the Party misses out.

    I may indeed eat shit but the party will continue to suck kumara and fail to achieve traction until they appreciate that it us,the shit eaters, that they need the votes of.

    [lprent: I have no idea if OAB is a Labour supporter or not, and I have been reading his comments for years. However it is clear to me that you are inferring that this is a Labour party site and that therefore he is a Labour party supporter. Go and read the about and the policy. We aren’t, he probably isn’t a NZLP member, and because you have been acting like a irresponsible fuckwit denigrating this site.

    I especially don’t like idiots using that old troll technique of trying to think that Labour MPs can do anything about this site. They don’t try anymore becuase I get pretty pissed off when they do. Just as I demonstrate to dimwits like you exactly how much I dislike your idiotic statements about this site.

    You are banned for a week for being an lazy fool who didn’t read the materials about the site and its rules. Bye… BTW: Please whine or try to bypass the ban. I like doubling up bans.. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Don’t forget to die. This has been a political message from an anonymous bloke who isn’t seeking your vote in this or any other guise.

      [Mike, Nordy and OAB. Enough. To be honest I don’t understand why you’ve decided to collectively ‘mob’ Tim over his initial comment. But whatever the reason or reasons, it’s crap. And it ends now. This is your collective warning.] – Bill

    • Nordy 9.2

      No one needs your vote Tim – get over yourself and your embarrassing and pathetic excuses for not actually supporting good ideas, regardless of who proposes them.

      [Mike, Nordy and OAB. Enough. To be honest I don’t understand why you’ve decided to collectively ‘mob’ Tim over his initial comment. But whatever the reason or reasons, it’s crap. And it ends now. This is your collective warning.] – Bill

    • Clemgeopin 9.3

      Tim, that comment to you was atrocious and disgraceful. I am ashamed. It was not the Labour party that made such awful comments to you.

      You are entitled to hold your views. Hopefully over time, you will come to see the Labour party views and policies as being the best all round for our great country.

  10. mike 10

    No Tim No! No one wants your vote, nor the banal minutiae of your mind. Too wet.
    Meanwhile, people drown.

    [Mike, Nordy and OAB. Enough. To be honest I don’t understand why you’ve decided to collectively ‘mob’ Tim over his initial comment. But whatever the reason or reasons, it’s crap. And it ends now. This is your collective warning.] – Bill

  11. les 11

    Now Key will come out and say….we’ll take 1200 immediately…just to Trump Labour.

  12. Potato 12

    So now Labour, Greens, I don’t really care who but someone get this bill right…
    According to the Red Cross, what is needed is not only an increase in size of our refugee quota but ALSO a change to the restrictions placed on composition of our quota.

    “Currently there are restrictions placed on the quota, such as taking the majority from the Asia Pacific region and requiring any refugees from Africa or the Middle East to have family links”


  13. Tory 13

    So while the left demand that NZ immediately accept Syrian migrants, the wealthy Middle East getaway with doing nothing? Why are you not putting your demands/expectations to these wealthy countries before expecting NZ tax payers to foot the bill?
    Perhaps the scoring of political points from the left is more important.


    • locus 13.1

      while…..the wealthy Middle East get away with doing nothing

      hmm – if you were a Syrian refugee would you head in that direction?

      why ask for refugees to go from the hell of war and religious extremists into an alternate hell?

      anyway Tory, as usual you’re deflecting again from the real questions:

      – why is the NZ prime minister sitting back and refusing to immediately increase our pitiful quota?

      – why do you think he has no guts? is it because, like you, he thinks it’s okay to do nothing because another country isn’t doing enough?

      – or do you think, he is being politically astute by playing to his gallery of supporters who hate foreigners, moslems, immigrants, refugees….?

    • greywarshark 13.2

      It’s the Never-Ending-Tory again!

  14. fisiani 14

    Key will emerge next week as a caring statesman and the Government will again rise in popularity. Little is too little too late yet again. National clearly know what New Zealand wants and how New Zealand feels.

    • locus 14.1

      All of the parties except National have expressed their desire to help, after seeing the tens of thousands of families flooding across Europe desperate for a new life.

      the prime minister and the national mp troughers snuffling at his feet have no idea of what New Zealand wants unless they consult focus groups

      … and there is no chance under the sun this time that the subsequent drivel written by Crosby Textor is going to turn this shallow slurrer into a “caring statesman”

  15. save NZ 15

    Show some heart and increase the quota and from Syria.

    We should be doing more for refugees anyway. Happy to take any migrant (is it $50,000 per year?), be it a 16 year old student who gets their degree on the NZ taxpayer and then goes off and gets their job in Australia and using the very simple technique of flying in and out on their native passport does not need to pay back their student loan or the families of all the migrants coming in under family criteria and using the health, pension and so forth without ever having to pay any taxes.

    Yep, I’m for immigration and also increasing the refugee quota, but grow a brain, government, apart from buying up property and the country, the criteria and oversight for immigration is so poor, it is ludicrous.

    At least with refugees the country is doing it with their eyes open and it is for a moral cause. It is sad that the media does not even report what is going on in the world unless it has a viral picture to make sure it is ‘news’.

    NZ is fast becoming a poster child for what unfettered Neo liberal ideology does to a country. Greedy, stupid, everything for sale, cheating, controlling, zero morals government and some of the members of the opposition think that being more like the Natz and further neoliberalism, is the way to go….Noooo

  16. Grim 16

    How about we take in 10,000 Syrian christian refugees, women and children first.
    it’s logical,practical and would avoid some of the knee jerk reactions.
    They can join us in being debt slaves to the banks, welcome on board our sinking ship 🙂

    Preempt so I don’t have to reply to fools:
    no, religion isn’t a race,

    multiculturalism isn’t working in Syria, why would it work here?

    To expect immigrants and refugees to change their culture to integrate into our society is arrogant and delusional.

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    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago