A humane decision

October 26th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Up to 26 Afghan interpreters will be given asylum in New Zealand when Kiwi troops withdraw from Bamiyan next April.

A spokesman for Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said Cabinet agreed on Monday to offer the interpreters a resettlement package in New Zealand.

The details will be released next week when Dr Coleman returns from a visit to the Middle East.

The interpreters, working with the Provincial Reconstruction Team, are being notified of their packages.

Including the interpreters’ families, 75 Afghans would come to New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key said earlier this month he was sympathetic to Afghan interpreters working with Kiwi troops who say their lives will be in danger.

The interpreters have said their work over a long period has made their identities known to insurgents, putting them at risk after New Zealand leaves the region.

I think this is the right decision. This incidentally doesn’t mean an increase in refugees – rather that they get allocated 75 out of our annual (I think) 750 places.

UPDATE: They do not qualify as refugees, so in fact are additional to the normal quota.

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23 Responses to “A humane decision”

  1. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Good decision. Those poor bastards risked their lives serving New Zealand – something I know I haven’t done very much of lately. Welcome welcome.

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  2. jasonh (19 comments) says:

    Good to see
    I would like to see it extended to former translators too, some of whom have already had to flee. It has been stated that they can apply for refugee status but surely we as a country can afford to be a bit more magnanimous to those who have put themselves in harms way along side NZ Forces?
    DPF – what woud dbe the appropriate channel to go through to request such a change?

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,276 comments) says:

    I think this is the right decision. This incidentally doesn’t mean an increase in refugees – rather that they get allocated 75 out of our annual (I think) 750 places.

    Well, it doesn’t mean in increase in refugees/asylum seekers, but only because they’re not refugees or asylum seekers!

    The Minister disagrees with you in the Stuff article:

    Guy said the interpreters were not “refugees” as defined by the Refugee Convention or have asylum seeker status, but will be granted residence under a discretion offered by Section 72 of the Immigration Act.

    “Those who wish to come to New Zealand will be offered the same initial resettlement arrangements as offered under the annual refugee quota, including a six week resettlement programme at the Mangere Refugee Centre.”
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    They will not displace refugees offered places under the refugee quota programme, he said.

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  4. labrator (1,846 comments) says:

    Good news. Shame the refugee centre is in Mangere. Seems like there would be better places to try and integrate newcomers to the country.

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  5. Ross12 (1,273 comments) says:

    Agree with jasonh. It should include former translators , some of whom worked for over 10 years as translators but have left the job recently ( according to an interview ob Hoskings show this morning).

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  6. tom hunter (4,564 comments) says:

    Good decision. There’s no future for them in the shithole.

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  7. Tautaioleua (292 comments) says:

    labrator, what’s wrong with Mangere? it is only the gateway to New Zealand’s cultural and metropolitan capital city. I think it makes sense to house them there.

    But a similar centre operates out of Mt Roskill, Central Auckland.

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  8. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Fair enough. It also says all we need to know about the success of our efforts in Afghanistan. And no, that is not a dig at the people who served there!

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  9. Bob R (1,357 comments) says:

    ***They will not displace refugees offered places under the refugee quota programme, he said.***

    That’s too bad. We already provide an absurdly high number of refugee places per year to fund our own displacement.

    Japan and Israel lead the way in sensible refugee policy.

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  10. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    It’s the right decision except that they should displace some of the useless bastards we admit under the UN refugee resettlement programme. At least they can speak English & have actually worked for a living unlike the garbage that live on benefits & breed like rats while raising crime statistics in South Auckland & Lower Hutt.

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  11. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    ” There’s no future for them in the shithole.”

    Give it a chance Tom- They havn’t even arrived in Mangere yet…

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  12. Dean Papa (782 comments) says:

    “rather that they get allocated 75 out of our annual (I think) 750 places.”

    and what a miserly quota that is.

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  13. Chinarugby (84 comments) says:

    A very solid and welcome decision and agree with Dean Papa – our refugee quota is indeed most miserly.

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  14. Nick K (1,133 comments) says:

    Thy should go straight into parliament and replace those useless knobs from NZ First.

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  15. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Re: the former translators, the issue is opening the floodgates.

    I mean for every individual, there is all their family. So each individual brings many. And if you say former translators, why not cooks, basically everyone local who was more than just an odd-jobber. And how many does that make, with all their family.

    That’s why Coleman and Key are saying the former translators have to apply through normal channels and they will looked on with favour but they won’t be in the same queue as the current ones.

    And once you talk family who do you mean? Just immediate. What about parents? Etc. The saving grace is these people are educated so their families are also likely to be.

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  16. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    Chinarugby

    …” our refugee quota is indeed most miserly”…..

    Why do you think that? Already the refugees we seem to pick or have picked for us are uneducated, misogynist, mass breeders scraped off the streets of some Middle Eastern shithole……eg Somalia & Pakistan. Most seem to have no interest in learning English apart from a few vital phrases such as “benefit”, “gimmee” & “entitlement”. They congregate in groups, make no attempt to assimilate or even try to fit in & create crime infested ghettos wherever they settle. Eg Taita & Avalon.

    Given that we are not exactly short of homegrown work shy no hopers what fit of sado masochism would prompt you to suggest that we inflict more troubles on ourselves?

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  17. mister nui (1,006 comments) says:

    Well dean papa and chinarugby, send the tax office a voluntary payment of a couple of hundred k each, for each extra refugee you would like us to take in.

    But, back to the content of the post, I do applaud this decision, these people will make far better NZers than most OC the rubbish we take under the Useless Nincompoops program.

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  18. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    I have heard some of these people interviewed. Their English is far better than many born and bred New Zealanders that I have to deal with.

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  19. pq (728 comments) says:

    excellent, thank you NZ Govt in this instance

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  20. MT_Tinman (3,044 comments) says:

    Rather than concern ourselves with the refugee number allocation maybe we could swap these 75 with 75 Green Party members – should be nirvana all round.

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  21. ChardonnayGuy (1,184 comments) says:

    For whatever reason, this is a welcome and compassionate decision. Well done, Prime Minister.

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  22. 3-coil (1,204 comments) says:

    Test

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  23. Peter2715626 (24 comments) says:

    Do you really believe that the solution to the problems of Afghan people is to pick selected few and relocate them to developed countries?

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