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Time to increase our refugee quota

Graphic: Performers share their culture as part of the Auckland International Cultural Festival

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has added its voice to calls to increase the country's refugee quota.

The Human Rights Commission has added its voice to calls to increase New Zealand's refugee quota.

Speaking at the National Refugee Resettlement Forum, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy asked: "How can we honestly defend a 30-year track record of doing nothing but the bare minimum?"

She said that increasing New Zealand's annual refugee quota, as well as providing a flexible humanitarian response from time to time, was the right thing to do.

"We must get some guts and we must increase our refugee quota," Dame Susan said.

"This is New Zealand's opportunity to lead by example as a UN Security Council member. We must pull our weight as a responsible, humane global citizen."

Dame Susan said focusing only on the costs of resettling refugees was "cynical and unfair".

"Some of the most courageous New Zealanders I've ever met have come from refugee backgrounds. Thousands of hardworking amazing people who are grateful to have been given a home and who give back to New Zealand every day of their lives," she said.

"To label them solely as a cost on society is both insulting and incorrect."

Date: 3 June 2015

Source: New Zealand Human Rights Commission


Image credits

  1. Performers share their culture as part of the Auckland International Cultural Festival - Pablo Garbarino, Flickr Creative Commons