Refugee quota in New Zealand would rise to 1500 per year in 2020



The government raises the annual refugee quota to 1500 and establishes more settlement centers across the country.

But it will not happen until 2020.

Premier Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway have made the announcement following a decision of the Cabinet Committee today.

The current six-week reception program at the Männere Refugee Resettlement Center in Auckland will also be shortened from six weeks to five, under the changes that will take effect from July 2020.

"I am proud that the coalition government today agreed to such an important and historical increase in the annual quota of refugees," Ardern said.

"This is the right thing to do, it fulfills New Zealand's obligation to do our bit and provide a small number of people, displaced every year by war and disaster, a place to call home."

Ardern said the 2020 date was necessary to ensure that preparations were made to support the refugees when they arrived.

"New Zealand has a proud report of packing support around refugees who make New Zealand home, in fact, we are among the best in the world." To keep that record of the best in the world, we need to start with early preparation. .

"All in all, this policy will change lives," she told reporters.

An additional six settlements locations would be needed nationwide on top of the eight already in operation in the country, according to Lees-Galloway.

No decisions had yet been made about where the business locations would be.

The government will also finance the expansion of public housing for around 150 additional refugee families with an estimated cost of $ 32.5 million over three years.

The 2018 budget provided $ 6.2 million in new operating financing over the next four years, plus $ 7.7 million in new capital, for the renovation and expansion of the Māngere Refugee Resettlement Center in Auckland.

Peters said he had no reservations about the decision. "I am very happy to be part of this decision."

"This is about people, not about politics and controversy."

"This was always on the cards, that it would be done if we had done all the work in the refugee centers, also the preparation of the houses and a lot of other things," said Peters.

The refugee quota was recently a matter of dispute after Peters appeared to be pouring cold water in the upbringing, while he told reporters in Nauru for the Pacific Islands Forum that New Zealand First had never made a commitment to double the refugee quota.

"We have 50,000 people homeless at home and I can show parts of the Hokianga and elsewhere, parts of Northland, with people who live in degradation, and we also need to improve their lives before we start new obligations of the level that some people would like, "he said at that moment.

National leader Simon Bridges called it an agreement "folded together" for Ardern's upcoming visit to the United Nations.

"There must be a secret deal between the Labor Party and Winston Peters about this, we know that he has eaten a humble pie here, he just does not like it and he does not get cheap."

Bridges would not say if National would roll back the quota if it won the next election by saying they should look at it.

His immigration spokesman Michael Woodhouse said that the current quota of 1000 refugees was "about good".

"It costs about $ 100,000 per person per year to properly set up refugees to help them integrate and lead productive lives and each increase must be balanced against other priorities," he said in a statement.

The green party spokesman and human rights spokesman, Golriz Ghahraman, said that this was the right moment to raise the quota.

"At the moment in global history, taking more refugees reflects the power of our values. It is the right thing to do," she said in a statement.


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