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Syrian refugees – National backs down

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, September 7th, 2015 - 73 comments
Categories: aid, australian politics, International, spin, Syria - Tags: ,

refugees are human beings-1

The focus groups have spoken and the backtrack is under way.

National has slammed on the breaks and dramatically adjusted course from last week when it was not going to accept further refugees to address the Syrian refugee crisis.  Now it is going to do something.  Identical high level briefings to the Herald and the Dominion Post clearly confirm this.

The branding and the lines will be all important.  The move will be presented as the largest increase in refugee intakes in many years.  The number of 500 over 3 years has been mentioned.  It sounds larger this way.  I suspect the number will be 100 for the next year matching the UNHCR’s figure.

Labour will be attacked because back in 2001 the Tampa 150 refugees were part of the existing quota and not new refugees.  Of course the reality is now different and we are witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the second world war.  But hey saying Labour is at fault has worked so far so why stop when you are on a winner?

Tony Abbott has stated that Australia will accept more Syrian refugees although within its refugee quota although to be fair Australia takes up to three times as many refugees per capita as New Zealand.

John Key was interviewed on Morning Report this morning this morning by Suzy Ferguson.  She asked the perfectly appropriate question if he had misread public opinion on the issue.  Key disagreed and talked about what National had already done rather than answer the question.  And Ferguson did not call him on it although she mentioned that New Zealand has taken 378 fewer refugees during the term of this National Government than it could have.

No doubt further aid to refugee camps will also be announced.  I bet the amount being spent transporting and setting up the further refugees from the Middle East will be less than that spent of sending and setting up sheep to the region.

The number is the [minimum] number National has calculated which will allow National MPs to veto Labour’s and Green’s urgent bills and not sustain too much political damage.

Update:  The announced amount is 750 in total although 150 of them will be placed into existing slots, so the net figure is 600 over three years or 200 per year.  And there will be an extra $4.5 million in aid to the region, less than half spent on #sheepgate.

Is it enough for Labour to be happy and not push ahead with its bill?  I do not believe so.  It clearly is the least that National thinks it can get away with.

73 comments on “Syrian refugees – National backs down ”

  1. Anthony 1

    They need to stop listening to the internal agency’s on what they can cope with and lead from the front and come up with solutions for thousands more intake and now. Not in Sleepy key time.

    • infused 1.1

      You can’t just take thousands more.

      • Craig Glen Eden 1.1.1

        How many thousands more do you suggest we take infused?

        • infused 1.1.1.1

          None.

          Give aid to the countries taking them instead.

          I’d support the quota going up when the review is done.

          • Joanne 1.1.1.1.1

            New Zealand can easily take more, and cope with them well.

            Matt Lawrey (Nelson City Councillor) posted this on Facebook yesterday – really makes you think!

            “What’s on my mind? The refugee crisis and Nelson are on my mind.
            Did you know that little old Nelson (pop 46,000) takes 10 percent of New Zealand’s refugee quota?
            Did you also know that, since the Canterbury earthquakes, Nelson is the only centre in the South Island that accepts refugees?
            And where do most of those people end up living? That’s right, Victory.
            So…if Victory can take something like 10 percent of NZ’s refugee quota, then surely, as a nation, we have room for more.”

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.1.1

              + 1 I agree Joanne and I saw that from Matt – really puts it into perspective. I lived in Victory and enjoyed the sight of newnew zealanders getting used to and living here in out bountiful land.

        • AnthonyB 1.1.1.2

          10,000 right now. People always freak out at alittle change, but once your used to the idea and start to see it working you always just look back at it a normal given. People hate being forced to change or accept others so that’s why a good rational debate is important so us Kiwis can actually collectively feel happy to welcome genuine refugees.

          As you start to see them as part of our society I trully believe we will feel really happy to have lovely people in our suburbs. You would be amazed how 10,000 people amounts us 4.5 million people will be a tiny change. You may have a family or two in a area near you, probably working in a local little business.

          There’s just a few people, using spaces that many don’t use actually. Despite what we often say there’s still many spare rooms here.

          🙂

  2. Bill 2

    Manus Island and Nauru could be emptied today. NZs commitment would amount to some hundreds if all the refugees in those hell holes were split between NZ and Australia.

    Mickey? What has changed for refugees in the time between the Tampa and now? I mean, apart from growing up or growing old in a festering hole while we turned away? We’re still turning away.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Refugees were not such a crisis back then, certainly not a visible crisis although I remember the Tampa crisis very well and I was actually present when Helen Clark announced that NZ was going to take them. I was at a public meeting out west when she made the announcement.

      New Zealand has always seemed to want to stay in step with Australia when it is handling local refugee issues. This means that we tend to always be conservative. Even Labor governments in Australia fear the supposed political damage from boat people.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Okay, so I’m troubled by this. Actually, I’m angry and frustrated…and I’ve typed and deleted and retyped portions of this comment before finally giving up in the face of my anger tripping up my words and thoughts. Anyway…

        Refugees are refugees and always were refugees whether fleeing Syria, or Afghanistan, Eritrea or wherever, and as such, people in crisis. I acknowledge that their plight hasn’t always pricked our conscience as now. But now we seem to be in a territory where our humanity is limited to the sphere of ‘sexy Syrians’. It’s fucked. There are refugees – people – (some few thousand as far as I can tell) right on our doorstep (Manus Island and Nauru) in absolutely appalling and desperate conditions, who we’ve ignored and who we continue to ignore.

        What that suggests to me is that the current fixation on Syrian refugees really is just a passing fad that we’ll grow tired of before moving on to, I dunno…pandas.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          I tend to agree, plus one of the reasons we (in NZ) are focussed on Syria is because the refugees are impacting on Europe.

          However, I think the sheer numbers of Syrian refugees is also part of it. It’s easier to ignore some hundreds in Nauru, and aren’t the Ozzies looking after them anyway? kind of thing, whereas the huge numbers of people being displaced in Syria are breaking through our normal complacency (plus the photo). It does make sense that people are being woken up by the numbers, and I agree that we then need to take that further and not just let it get replaced by pandas next week.

          Compassion triggered by emotional responses isn’t logical, and we’re not that good at tying compassion to depth of thought.

      • Melb 2.1.2

        Ahhhh yes, it’s important because it’s a visible crisis. Ignoring the millions of African refugees over the last two decades was fine though because nobody really cares about that continent.

        • aerobubble 2.1.2.1

          CO2 will tend to concentrate slightly more in the equatorial regions???? So opening the borders to them early would lead to more coming?????

          Anyway our open door policy, oz-nz, means we cant simple open a back door for syrians to oz. Keys hands are tied.

          Aside. Hootons q&a comments are deeply offensive, he openly talks for the dead of the world wars while condescending Labour for speaking about a dead baby. Many of my ancesters died in the wws and i find it inane to say just because a govt committe decides to put a fern on a gravestone that changing the flag is not equally offensive. Hooton has no perspective on any issue worth hearing, yet tv one keeps inviting him on to provoke the most extremist bollocks as normative.
          Two faced hypocrite.

    • Robert M 2.2

      [deleted]

      [lprent: This simple minded fuckwit advocates using weapons against civilians in acts of mass murder, simply because they exist. Banned permanently on the basis that around here we don’t want animals who would have problems observing the morals of death camp guard.

      A prime candidate in my view for a simple precautionary life time jail sentence – on the Auckland Islands under a military guard and away from humans. ]

  3. The number is the maximum number National has calculated which will allow National MPs to veto Labour’s and Green’s urgent bills and not sustain too much political damage.

    I think you mean minimum, and yes, I think that’s exactly the point… National’s just working out what’s the minimum they can do to make this issue go away.

  4. Ad 4

    Key will be at the airport to an event designed by Michael Mizrahi, along with Dave Dobbyn singing “Welcome Home”, the All Blacks holding the Rugby World Cup and do a big haka, everyone is waving the new flag, the Governor-General hands a stuffed Kiwi soft toy to the nearest 3 year old he can find, every Cabinet Minister kisses a baby each, all the women get bouquets of flowers and start crying in gratitude, the entire Army lines the motorway to the refugee base with serried ranks and Light Armoured Vehicles throwing rose petals on the ground, the Anglican and Catholic Bishops wave their wands, Jesus pops down from the clouds for a visit, the motorway is awash with the tears of a million kiwis weeping buckets and waving flags, Paul Henry personally asks each of them “How do you feel?”, a Syrian spontaneously composes a new National Anthem and sings it as they wave, NZ On Air makes a film about it which wins an Academy Award and they all get to play their own parts, and Women’s Day gets them all facials.
    In politics, don’t ask for what you want. It’s going to happen.

    • tinfoilhat 4.1

      😆

    • Mrs Brillo 4.2

      This is uncomfortably close to the truth, Ad.

      Then Key will hand the whole problem over to various religious groups to take care of the refugeees at their own expense.

      And the media will heave a sigh and go back to reporting crime-as-entertainment.

      • Ad 4.2.1

        Key’s Office know how to rotate on a dime.
        This is a great field for them to play in now.
        If they could auction media rights to the show, they will.

      • amy 4.2.2

        No. Let’s get this absolutely straight. Religious groups, at least the established religions, NEVER spend their own money on ANY social services. ALL their social spending is from the government funding and a small amount from other charities (themselves usually government funded).

        The religious groups do this as they make huge tax free profits from provided social services. It s NOT altruism. It is profit driven and the profits get driven into inflated salaries and building monuments and luxurious travel unrelated to their social function.

        This post makes me extremely angry as it is a common belief. I have deep knowledge of the most prominent of these in Chch and I am ashamed at times to even work there..

        For an example, try requesting to see the full financial statements of the Anglican Church social services. They will never release these.

        • Ad 4.2.2.1

          Why is altruism necessary to be religious?

          • amy 4.2.2.1.1

            It’s inherent to the New Testament. And the quaran. In fact in most religions.

            • Ad 4.2.2.1.1.1

              “Do unto others as you would do unto you”, along with Buddhist and other variants, doesn’t even imply “Do it for free or for no personal benefit”.

              You are railing at air.

              Nor does non-altruism mean worshipping some Supply-Side Jesus.

              • amy

                I really do not wish to waste my time geting into some kind of religious debate about the message of various religious texts., and honestly have only contempt for those who defend their nonsense.

                In this case, there is a world of difference between what you struggle ti aryiculate and what us actually happening within these ‘charities’ that gouge out huge sums of government money to make tax free profits, all.under the guise of Christian or other care.

                Many are blatantly corrupt. Having audited many charities, there were very few I would ever enev donate a bent washer to.

                Unfortunately in NZ the financial statements of these ‘chatities’ receive little public srutuny.

        • weka 4.2.2.2

          “For an example, try requesting to see the full financial statements of the Anglican Church social services. They will never release these.”

          If they never release them then how do you know that their charitable work is solely funded by the govt?

          meanwhile,

          https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/anglican-church-pledges-to-house-and-finance-160-syrian-refugees-q09414

      • marty mars 4.2.3

        Mrs Brillo I agree with your comment apart from I imagine negotiations for the contract have started with serco already

    • save NZ 4.3

      +1 Ad – you forgot to mention the next day it is all over. The government support is gone along with the cameras.

      .

  5. Straight off Stuff’s front page .
    The PM giving refugees his home
    (Third story in their center-page ‘Latest breaking News “section)

    “The PM…” is a reference [usually] reserved for news of our PM
    Leaders of other nations historically get referenced with a prefix of which country that particular PM is from.

    View post on imgur.com

    Only if you click through, do you discover the Stuff headline actually refers to Finland’s PM….
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/71793308/finlands-pm-opens-home-to-refugees

    but that insignificant detail isn’t as important as the impression such a headline presents is it Stuff? 🙁

    • freedom 5.1

      and like magic, the article gets shifted to the side with an obvious change of headline -circled image

      View post on imgur.com

      but part of the site is still playing catch up -as per arrow

      (some might think this was a trivial post,
      others might agree there is an indefensible regularity of such politically loaded messages in our MSM)

  6. Clean_power 6

    Why other fellow Muslim countries, e.g. Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc, shelter the Syrian refugees? If not, why not?

    • joe90 6.1

      Bloke explains.

      حسن
      ‏@Hassan_JBr

      Fahad Alshalami, Kuwaiti official, explaining why the gulf countries aren’t taking Syrian refugees
      With subtitles

      https://twitter.com/Hassan_JBr/status/640222369278218240

      This too –

      “Why don’t you let them in, you discourteous people?!”

      (google translate)

      https://mobile.twitter.com/makkahnp/status/638653863562772480

      • Hami Shearlie 6.1.1

        Well if Kuwait won’t take refugees because they are too “different” from them, why should Europe, or America, or China or India or any other country? They are (the Syrians) from a muslim nation so I would have thought they would have more in common with other middle eastern or muslim countries than they do with Europe? I would like to know if Russia, China, India, Japan, etc are taking any refugees – it doesn’t seem to be reported. I haven’t seen a good explanation of why mainly Europe is being made to feel responsible – Europe is not the Middle East or predominantly muslim or anything like it! It would be good to know which countries are taking refugees, how many, and what other countries arguments are for not taking any.

  7. greywarshark 7

    The Guardian presents a group of links and timelines re Syria helpful background.
    Syria – good coverage
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/mar/12/syria-crisis-four-years-on-a-day-of-in-depth-reports-and-analysis

  8. joe90 8

    The SWF refugees in Lebanon and Jordan have been surviving on may be drying up as the UNHCR struggles with funding.

    “As the year goes by and the funding crisis gets deeper we are making more and more cuts. Mothers are telling us that they are being evicted from their houses and are now living in makeshift shelters in the field because their rent money is going on food. Think about young men and boys who are responsible for feeding their families. Reaching these desperate levels makes them prime targets for Isis.”

    One Syrian refugee, Fatmeh, said of her two children in Lebanon: “When we can’t afford both medicine and food, I tie scarves around my boys’ bellies at night so they don’t wake up crying from stomach aches because they are hungry.”

    Kassaby said the current funding system meant the WFP never had the funds it needed. “This is a hand-to-mouth operation: the minute money comes in it goes out. We have been operating with a funding deficit since the beginning of the year and right now we are short of $149m to help Syrians just through September and October.”

    The UNHCR also says it is seeing evidence that refugees are making the dangerous journey into Europe because conditions in the Middle East are worsening.

    On the Greek islands, where UNHCR frontline workers meet refugees as they arrive by boat, they cite new arrivals saying they were pushed into leaving Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey by a shortage of food or a desperate need for medical treatment.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/06/refugee-crisis-un-agencies-broke-failing

  9. Ilicit 9

    I’m a refugee in my own country, with no means of escape except a very long swim in very cold water. One that I shall never survive.

    You see, I am on the equivalent of a sickness benefit and am dying of cancer. In saying that, I seek no sympathy from anyone, I simply state a fact of life.

    The fact is, my Government spends the bare minimum (or below), to help me stay alive and that’s without medication etc.etc. I am a prisoner to my home.

    So what am I, a Political refugee, or an Economic refugee ? And who makes that distinction. Who, or which, do we end up with ?

    I am but one of many thousands of Kiwi’s in the same circumstances, we live as paupers and yet retain compassion for the refugees struggling to survive.

    It is said that each refugee will cost the country $67,000 to settle, but I can’t find for what period that covers.

    What I do know is that $67,000 is over 5 years of what I receive from the Government.

    I can’t stop thinking something somewhere has gone awry, not only in the Middle East, but more importantly, in our own Middle Earth !!!

    • citizenZ 9.1

      illicit – there are many, many services including transportation, food and counselling available to you through the Cancer Society. If you feel you are not getting the help you need please contact the Cancer help line. 0800 CANCER (226 237). Good luck with your journey.

      • Ilicit 9.1.1

        Thanks CitizenZ, I’m well onto all that, doesn’t change the fact that our Government is looking after others before it’s own…….the refugees will most certainly end up with a better life than many of us now have, simply because money will be thrown at their cause.

        And that takes no account of our local Syrian community of previous refugees throwing in their lot to help !

        And yet, our own still suffer !

        Don’t get me wrong, taking refugees is a good thing, but hey, what about our own who struggle to stay alive ???

        Weka….I probably fit both categories, Economic and Political………especially the political bit right now !!!

    • weka 9.2

      Good points Ilicit. I think you are a political refugee.

  10. arkie 10

    BREAKING NEWS – New Zealand to take 750 more Syrian refugees over the next two and half years

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/283513/nz-to-accept-750-syrian-refugees

    • McFlock 10.1

      So 150 out of the current quota, and 600 over the next 2.5 years. Assuming that the 600 don’t come out of the following years’ quotas, that takes us up to less than a thousand a year from the current level of 750.

      Pathetic effort. We can do much more with minimal impact on us.

      • arkie 10.1.1

        They also stress the cost in the article:

        “Mr Woodhouse said the cost of the additional places was estimated at $48.8 million over two and a half years.
        That was on top of the $58m the Government already spent annually on resettling refugees, he said.”

        Pathetic indeed but I worry that it is the minimum that this blogpost mentions.

      • Ad 10.1.2

        I’m not so sure.
        – Rentals are really hard to find and really expensive in Auckland – which is where they will land.
        – Unemployment is over 6%, and over 20% if you’re young
        – Economy is stagnant and uneven
        – Houses are unaffordable to buy even if you had the cash
        – The social welfare system is – what shall we say – uneven in its performance
        – Health system isn’t currently coping

        I mean these are all complaints that Standardistas regularly lay at the feet of the current government. It’s completely fair to ask if we have the capacity to do this.

        Let’s not forget. This is the first little trickle, in which it’s simply more dangerous to stay on land than to risk the sea.

        The real flood as we have seen after WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia etc, is when the war ends, and the side that won cleans out the losers.

        Then we get the flood tide.

        • DoublePlusGood 10.1.2.1

          Don’t put the refugees in Auckland, that’s the worst place to settle them! Find them places to live anywhere other than there and Christchurch and it will cost far less.

          • save NZ 10.1.2.1.1

            We can put them in the state houses we sold to the Australians or given/sold cheap to various government cronies and then the tax payer can rent them back, renovated at market rents.

            Makes perfect sense!

        • McFlock 10.1.2.2

          Rentals are really hard to find and really expensive in Auckland – which is where they will land.

          Relocating them to Auckland is an administrative decision. I’d had about five relocation centres spread over the country.

          Unemployment is over 6%, and over 20% if you’re young

          The unemployment rate is a government policy decision

          Economy is stagnant and uneven

          Yes, but even 10,000 refugees is a drop in the NZ population, even if the level isn’t offset against regular migration.

          Houses are unaffordable to buy even if you had the cash

          Indeed, but we can provide rentals until, and after, people find their feet.

          The social welfare system is – what shall we say – uneven in its performance

          Indeed. But again that’s a matter of policy, and again with what 400,000 people on some form of benefit, an extra 10,000 is not enough to break the machine.

          Health system isn’t currently coping

          Again, that’s government policy and even an outright increase of (10000/4000000*100) a quarter of a percent won’t alter that.

          As for the post-conflict flood, the more we do now the less we’ll have to do later. Remember, we’re the last stop on a trip to the other side of the planet, most will go elsewhere first.

        • miravox 10.1.2.3

          “I mean these are all complaints that Standardistas regularly lay at the feet of the current government. It’s completely fair to ask if we have the capacity to do this.”

          Capacity? If things are dire – Reduce usual immigration. People seeking refuge have a greater need right now.

          Else the government could do some of those things about housing that people who know about this stuff (and the Standardistas) have suggested time and time again.

    • fisiani 10.2

      Too Little too Late. The Labour Motto.
      Massive increase in spending to cope with helping 750 refugees. National Motto
      Why does Andrew little keep getting outflanked and outsmarted by the PM?
      Anyone opposed to our government helping out has Key Derangement Syndrome it seems.
      Will National poll over 50% in 2017. I can think of 750 people who would want to give thanks.

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        Massive increase in spending to cope with helping 750 refugees

        another nat lie.

        The increase in spending (about two flag referenda worth) is only for 600 refugees. The other 150 come out of the existing quota. Which you conveniently ignored to make it sound like the nats are doing more than a pathetically half-hearted about face.

        Oh, and they spread it out over two and a half years, so they’ll actually spend less on saving lives this year than on the fucking flag. And that’s only AFTER a truck full of dead people abandoned on a highway and seeing the photos of a toddler’s corpse on a beach.

        Fuck off, fisi. You’re a propagandist of the lowest order, both in skill and moral debasement.

      • DoublePlusGood 10.2.2

        Any comment on why Key pissed around saying he wouldn’t increase the quota until it was clearly obvious everyone thought that was a stupid decision?
        Yeah, thought not.

  11. Tory 11

    The wrong decision, NZ does not need Syrian economic migrants.

  12. Andre 12

    We took in 117,000 migrants in the year to July and only 20% were in the skilled or wealthy migrant categories. 80% therefore are likely to be relatives of those already here. Think elderly people dependent on free healthcare and super for example. In return over 50,000 capable Kiwis left the country. Continuing this altruistic campaign that no-one actually voted for seems a road to increasing house prices and watching our graduates hop on a plane. There is no proof that allowing these migrants in will improve our economy. We could easily take 17,000 refugees a year and 100,000 (or 50,000) migrants in the next 12 months instead. The refugees are capable of crossing oceans and walking hundreds of miles to escape in the first place, so they should be hard workers too, and they would be grateful citizens.
    The economic benefits may even be great enough to wipe student loans and offer free tertiary education, hopefully encouraging our graduates to either stay or return after a much briefer OE.
    250 extra a year is something at least, but obviously not enough compared to what we could be doing.
    All of the current costs attributed per refugee are not based on them being voluntarily housed by citizens in their own homes or any other new ideas. And do the figures supplied take into account the refugees finding work for example?
    While we have homeless people living in the street and hundreds of thousands of kids living in poverty the government seems bent on an immigration programme that seems to cause increased inequality, infrastructure issues and a destructive property market.

    • Ad 12.1

      You are confusing your Immigration categories.
      Immigrants are not Refugees.
      Pop into the NZ Immigration site and have a check through the categories available.

        • Bill 12.1.1.1

          So you link to a discussion that

          1. has evidence to back claims but just can’t provide the evidence because “MBIE included a chart in one of the papers, but it won’t reproduce well”

          2, Surmises that working holiday visas are all about getting a seat on the security council.

          3. Never presents the implicit argument for more stringent employment law/protection

          4. Thinks pay equity cases should be disallowed by statute.

          5. reckons immigrants are responsible for low wages in the care sector

          6. Only seems interested in highly qualified and highly skilled migrants

          7. Links to a paper on housing inflation in Auckland to back his argument about the inflationary effect of immigrant workers.

          Actually, I just skipped it about there and had a wee look at who this guy might be and

          My first allegiance is to Jesus Christ, whose disciple I set out, by grace, to be. I hope that influences the content of my thoughts, and how I express them. One practical outworking of my faith is that, as per the Ten Commandments, this blog will not be updated on Sundays. I will also be commenting on aspects of faith and Christianity at…

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            I don’t have a problem with him being religious, but thanks for the rest, that saves me the bother of reading it.

            • Bill 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t have a problem with him being religious per se. But when he feels the need, or whatever it is, to proclaim it …gives me the shivers is all.

              • weka

                Yeah, I’m not that comfortable with Christians who are that out there either. It just always seems to jar culturally.

    • GregJ 12.2

      I think I get your drift here Andre – although paragraphs might aid some clarity to your points and make the ideas flow a little better (mobile phone by any chance?).

      In the end it is essentially about compassion, humanity and the will to make a difference. NZ is a rich country and relatively sparsely populated – we can make a much better effort and with a bit of thinking and planning easily overcome the obstacles.

    • save NZ 12.3

      I agree with you Andre. The point is, who are our migrants and are they actually contributing to NZ apart from buying property and cars?

      At least with refugees our eyes are open. It is purely for humanitarian reasons. I think we should take more refugees for moral reasons.

      The problem is while we dispute can we or can we not, afford refugees, how many migrants are entering who are taking up resources in this country and not contributing in any meaningful way and due to stupid technicalities in the immigration policy are they just here for the generous free health, semi free education and to gain a passport and property here, before going on to better things. Are they contributing skills or taxes – is this even monitored?

      Once you have been here and become a citizen the floodgates open and relatives can enter and obviously need health care especially if they are elderly, if they are pregnant or so forth. Migrants can get superanuation without paying taxes here (by entering into a relationship with a local for example).

      While we debate wether our social welfare scheme is affordable in the future and lecture how locals should pay more taxes and are greedy and lazy, nobody seems very interested politically in actually working out, is there a migration problem in this country?

      I’m pro migration in general but the current rules are a farce and easily evaded and the type and quality of migrants is certainly not contributing to the well being of the average Kiwi – far from it – especially in Auckland.

  13. Karen 13

    600 extra refugees spread over 3 years is a pathetic response to a crisis. Germany is taking 800,000 this year – on that basis NZ should take 44,000. We (rightly) condemn Australia for its treatment of boat people, but even they accept 5 times the number of refugees per capita as NZ.

    I hope Labour and the Greens will still both put their bills forward tomorrow, and after the Nats decline them leave the two parties should work together on a joint policy.

    • Ilicit 13.1

      At least some countries like Germany ( and quite a few others) are happy to keep them, they will replace their aging population and keep the economy going for the future.

      Not something that would even cross the minds of our short sighted Government !!

  14. ianmac 14

    TV1 News was that Mr Key did a “U-turn” over the increased refugees.
    TV3 Paddy politely said that Mr Key “shifted” his position.
    Surprised?

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  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
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