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Government exercising its barriers

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Today was the culmination of an eight week long exercise by 18 government agencies named “Exercise Barrier 2012”. The purpose was to “make sure New Zealand is fully prepared to respond to a mass arrival by sea of potentially illegal immigrants”, according to Immigration Minister Nathan Guy. The exercise involved 100 actors, hired to pretend to be refugees who arrived at the Devonport Naval base. The exercise cost around $200,000.

These 100 actors, issued with fake beards to make them look more foreign, were supposed to represent 500 refugees arriving on a ship from Sri Lanka. The government considers this a realistic scenario, based on a ship with 500 refugees that recently arrived in Canada. However, there are no indications that a ship of that kind has tried to come here in the recent past. 

In a Radio NZ interview, Dean Blakemore from Immigration NZ said that the real 'bottle neck' was processing the arrivals in the courts. So far, each refugee would have to be presented to a judge who would then decide, if the person posed a risk to the country and would be sent to Mt Eden, or if they would be sent to a mass detention centre in Waiouru or the South Auckland refugee centre.

In order to make sure no District Court judge has to work overtime, parliament is debating a law change that would allow mass arrest warrants for groups of immigrants to be detained for up to 6 months, children included. The Human Rights Commissioner sees this as a breach of the NZ Bill Of Rights Act. And if this sounds like Australia, where all refugees are held in prison camps as a matter of course, then this is no coincidence. John Key says: “We're moving into line with Australia”.

Although the last mass arrival of illegal immigrants who murdered and pillaged their way through the country was over 100 years ago, the Immigration minister insists that “we can’t afford to be complacent about the risks of a mass arrival happening here”.  The popular example used by politicians is a boat with ten refugees from China, which had been heading for NZ but ended up in Darwin last month. Obviously, ten people is a number that a country of 4.5 million can't possibly cope with.

In reality, around 300 people arrive in NZ annually, seeking asylum. Even this pathetic number seems too much for the government, as about 75% of them are rejected and subsequently deported.

While Nathan Guy is today sending “a strong message that New Zealand is well prepared”, asserting the barriers that are put in place to keep refugees out of NZ, he also has a softer side. Only last week he held a parliamentary breakfast to celebrate the UN's World Refugee Day, where he acknowledged that people have been forced to leave their homeland, and said: “Providing warm welcome and giving refugees the foundations on which to establish a future is something that we are all committed to”.



Sources
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1206/S00254/exercise-barrier-shows-nzs-...

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2522375/ch...

http://www.3news.co.nz/Asylum-seekers-practice-exercise-launched/tabid/1...

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/joint-exercise-prepare-possible-mass-...

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1206/S00263/nz-honours-world-refugee-da...

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-parliamentary-breakfast-world-r...

http://www.hrc.co.nz/newsletters/diversity-action-programme/te-punanga/2...

Comments

Ae

What an arsehole.

Maybe we should hold our marae courts to decide whether people like him should be sent straight to Mt Eden or the Auckland Islands?

What is the difference

What is the difference between me, a legal immigrant and an illegal immigrant?

A few hundred dollars easily lost and a recommendation from a police force that murdered tens of thousands!

How clearly have the people of NZ stated their preferences!

How can you accept Any State whilst there are people with No Country?

Every State is complicit in creating Stateless people.