Should refugees be expected to officially commit to New Zealand values when they get here?
Some political leaders say yes, they should.
Refugees should sign up to a ‘New Zealand values statement’, proposes ACT leader David Seymour as he believes it would help ensure those arriving share our values.
Just look at Australia, Seymour points out – they have a charter to accompany their visa approvals.
What the Australian charter says:
“Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law, Parliamentary democracy, equality of men and women and a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good.
“Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background the English language, as the national language, is an important unifying element of Australian society.”
Seymour admitted Australia have a different set of migration circumstances, but “on balance Australia is an incredibly tolerant and liberal place, that many many people from around the world want to go to”.
Seymour said it wouldn’t be difficult to pull together a simple charter, stating for example: “We believe regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion, you have the same legal rights as everybody else.”
I quite like the Australian one, but Seymour’s one is also good.
What the Netherlands do is also good. They actually require all prospective immigrants watch a video about life in the Netherlands, and in it they stress things like freedom of speech, that same sex couples are affectionate in public and that if this upsets you, you should consider not moving here, as you’ll be unhappy.