Topic: Elections

Green Party plans to increase refugee quota to 5,000 a year

The Green Party is acknowledging World Refugee Day by releasing its commitment to increase the refugee quota to 5.000 per year.

New Zealand currently accepts 750 refugees a year with an expected increase to 1000 places in 2018.

However, the Greens believe this is not enough and if their policy is implemented refugee quota will increase to 4,000 places over six years

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw says, “At a time when more people than ever have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution and climate change, welcoming more refugees to New Zealand is the right thing to do.”

The Green Party says it will increase the refugee quota to 4,000 places over six years, provide an additional 1000 places for church and community sponsorship, and create a new humanitarian visa of up to 100 Pacific people displaced by climate change every year.

Last year the Government announced it would increase the annual refugee intake to 1000 from 2018 and it would cost $25 million a year.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said it was an “appropriate response. We want to ensure the refugees we take settle well and contribute meaningfully to life in New Zealand, while not putting unreasonable strains on social services.

“We want to be sure people have the appropriate support and services they need to resettle in New Zealand like housing, health, education and translation services,”

Shaw says, “When the Syrian refugee crisis hit the headlines, churches and faith groups from across New Zealand put their hands up and said ‘we can help’. Our community sponsorship programme will allow Kiwis to play their part by helping to resettle refugees in their own communities.

“Climate change will only make the global refugee crisis worse. We will create a new humanitarian visa for Pacific people who have been forced out of their own countries by rising seas and extreme droughts.”