Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Raise the refugee quota

Paris Aristotle, director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, says that we are not pulling our weight on refugee policy, and that we should raise our annual refugee quota. I agree. New Zealand accepts a derisory 750 refugees per year [PDF], or around 179 per million people. By contrast, Australia - who we all like to deride as racist and xenophobic in the wake of the Tampa affair and Howard's internment camps - accepts 6,000 per year, or 285 per million. As a country which prides itself on our commitment to human rights, shouldn't we aim to be at least as good as the Aussies?

Unfortunately, Immigration is still firmly in denial:

An Immigration Service spokesman said that, in proportion to its population, New Zealand had one of the highest rates of refugee acceptance.
Maybe they should go into business making Tui billboards?