The Herald reports:
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the number of refugees who are allowed to settle here should be greatly increased.
The Northland MP, who is well known for his opposition to current immigration levels, believes New Zealand’s refugee quote should be increased by at least a third.
There is currently an annual limit of around 750 places for refugees on United Nations waiting lists.
“There’s no reason, in my view, that we couldn’t go to 1000 easily, and do it in a responsible way,” Mr Peters said, in answer to a question from a first year politics class at Victoria University of Wellington yesterday.
Winston of course was campaigning against in 2004. The RMS responded to his claims:
Winston Peters’ comments in the House yesterday about New Zealand’s refugee quota system were inaccurate and misleading, says RMS Resettlement director Peter Cotton.
“He chose to hide behind Parliamentary Privilege to attack a former Somali refugee seeking to bring members of her family to New Zealand. At the same time he blatantly misrepresented the Government’s response to refugees, suggesting that each refugee accepted in New Zealand’s small annual quota (750) was likely to be followed by an additional 14 family members.
So in 2004 he was attacking us for having 750 by claiming each one would bring in 14 more. In 2015 he pretends he is in favour of increasing it.
In 2001 he attacked the Government for allowing in the Tampa refugees.
“The fact remains that New Zealand was a soft touch when she took office and it is even more of a soft touch now. Another load of refugees does not make any sense when we have already been very charitable. The truth is that there were many UN signatory countries closer to the Tampa than New Zealand, why then is New Zealand being expected to once again grossly exceed its limit?
“The duplicity of government is astounding. The more facts that come out of this debacle the more concerning it gets. We now hear that many may be carrying third-world diseases, as if we didn’t know that, and have not been treated in Nauru first. The Government has a duty to protect the health and security of its inhabitants, a test which it is failing miserably.
Not big on consistency is he.