Jan Logie

Doing our bit for refugees?

by Jan Logie

It honestly warms my heart to see the doing our bit campaign and facebook page created by Murdoch Stephens.

The campaign seeks to double New Zealand’s refugee quota and refugee funding so that the hard working people across New Zealand’s governmental and NGO services have the resources they need to get their job done.

My local gallery Pātaka will be hosting an exhibition of photos of refugees that Murdoch found while in Iran. You can see some of them on the website and they are the very heart of this call to do our bit, because these are people like you and I clearly reacting and responding to a situation they do not seem to understand.

The Green Party has a policy to increase the quota and increase settlement funding but it is not (yet) our policy to double the quota or funding.

I personally support the campaign because:
• It is the perfect antidote to the toxic subtext of the Immigration Amendment Bill that was beating up fear and distrust.
• It is honest that, despite the spin, New Zealand is not and has not been doing our bit globally.
• Doing our bit is something to be proud of
• It creates a space for people with a refugee background in New Zealand to be able to share their success stories
• It creates an opportunity for us all to (re)consider the role we play in this increasingly connected world.

I would just add that I also think we need to call on the government not to discriminate between quota refugees and those seeking refugee status after arriving in New Zealand as asylum seekers. The government currently seems to be creating a two tier system which provides some (not enough) legal and financial support to quota refugees and takes away resources from those who have had to seek asylum on our shores. This is not consistent with the refugee convention or the reality of world.

Published in Justice & Democracy | Society & Culture by Jan Logie on Tue, June 25th, 2013   

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