Last year, John Key said New Zealand might send any refugee claimants who arrive by boat over to Australia's detention camps. That's not still a thing, is it?

Have a read of this NZ Herald article by Greg Ansley about the conditions in the off-shore asylum seeker camps that Australia has set up to "deal with" refugee claimants who try to get to Australia by boat.

Then revisit this Pundit post I wrote a year ago about New Zealand participating in a "regional solution" to the issue, which could potentially include us sending any boat-bourne arrivals on our shores over to Australia's camps for processing. A post in which I quoted John Key as saying:

I haven't inspected the camps obviously but I accept the prime minister at her word. ... Our expectation is that the camps would be at the world standard we would expect from a developed economy like Australia.

I wonder if, given recent developments and news reports from those camps, our PM still thinks this? And is it still on the table for NZ to send any (hypothetical) future "boat people" over to places like Nauru and Manus Island? And if so, how do we feel about that?

Comments (7)

by Andrew Osborn on March 08, 2014
Andrew Osborn

In my opinion any illegal immigrant that manages to sail here in a typical refugee craft and then get over the Manukau bar should be allowed in AND given life membership of the Squadron...because they one of us!

(Steel ships should disallowed because they don't meet class rules)

On a more serious note: There is no good solution here. Pick your poison.


by Ian MacKay on March 08, 2014
Ian MacKay

Mr Key has a well worn policy of hiding behind "I take him at his word" as an excuse for not wanting to look. If he is told that the conditions in the off-shore asylum seeker camps is a utopia on a tropical island then this is true to him. Of course he could send an envoy to have a look but would rather not. Nor would he read the report on John Banks or expose the Cabinet Office Report on the dear old Judith Collins.

And we too must trust this man. He is the PM after all.

by william blake on March 08, 2014
william blake

Transfield are the original and main sponsor of the Sydney Bienalle, they have been linked to making profits from the detention centres. This year four of the international artists withdrew because of this link but reserved the right to have their objections clearly stated instead of artwork. More artists have been following suit over the week, till todays news that the main sponsor has withdrawn.

Unfortunately this probably means the end of the Sydney Bienalle as we know it but shows the power of a well timed and principled action. It's good to know of resistance to injustice across the ditch and I wonder what would Keys position will be when the detention centres are dismantled by popular demand?

by william blake on March 08, 2014
william blake
by Phil Lyth on March 09, 2014
Phil Lyth

I would think it wonderful Andrew if you would join twitter.

by Dean Papa on March 13, 2014
Dean Papa

What are the chances any of these boats are going to roll up on our shores? Realistically, zero to negligible, wouldn't it be? They barely seem capable of making it to the Aus mainland without sinking. So what's the point. Cheap morality for the sake of it. Why encourage, even slightly, any attempts to arrive here by boat?

The claims in the Ansley article about detention centre hell holes on Manus would have to be just a little exaggerated. Can they really be any worse than a Syrian refugee camp where thousands have to queue for food. Perhaps the internet connection is not fast enough on Manus. I dunno. Anyway, as an aside, this Greg Ansley, the Herald's so called Aus correspondent, he's been over there for a very long while. Must be a couple of decades, if not more. Yet In all that time I cannot recall a single positive story about Aus from his pen. They are either neutral, or for the most part negative. I realise that negative stories about Aus play well in NZ, but I'd have thought that after so much time over there he'd have developed just a little affection for the place. A positive, quirky story reflecting the insight he has gained into the country might be nice, every now and then. But no, I suspect Ansley lacks any real insight, being more of the sneering Kiwi type, with the misplaced sense of superiority.

Final point on the tawdry politics of boat people and refugees. I was watching one of the talkback shows on the Aus Sky news feed. It was mentioned that thousands of people had held candle-light vigils for the asylum seeker who died in the riot. Someone, from the 'right' point of view I guess, asked the question, as to where all these people were when over a 1000 boat people were 'lured' to their deaths as a result of the previous govt's policies. The response, from the person presumably speaking on behalf of the 'left' was along the lines that the Aus govt was responsible for the safety of this particular asylum seeker. While for those that got into boats on their own accord, tough luck, apparently. Which may well be a valid point, but still leaves the impression that there is something horribly phony going on, from both sides of the argument. But that candle-light vigil would have to be considered as an example of particularly nauseating hypocrisy in light of previous events at sea, or perhaps I am missing something here?

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