Election 2014

Policy topics

All currently elected political parties were sent questions.

Responses are ordered by party vote in the 2008 election.

The New Zealand National Party declined to answer any questions.

The Pacific

The questions we asked

  • Fiji
    Since the 2000 Fiji coup successive governments have imposed travel sanctions on those involved in or close to the coup. As a return to democracy in Fiji is unlikely for another three years, should New Zealand change its policy?
  • Papua
    There is no end in sight to a low-level guerrilla war in Indonesia's Papua area, where human rights abuses occur on a scale and with a frequency not seen elsewhere in the Pacific. Should New Zealand pay more attention to the conflict and if so, what could Wellington do?
  • Nauru/Papua New Guinea
    Australia is spearheading a policy of processing asylum seekers abroad. Should New Zealand assist Canberra again as it did last decade when some boatpeople detained in Papua New Guinea and Nauru were moved to New Zealand?
  • Climate
    What should New Zealand consider offering low-lying atoll countries whose populations risk being forced to move because of changes to their habitat caused by higher seas?
  • Tokelau
    Tokelau has voted twice in the past decade to stay with New Zealand. Should the outcome of the votes be accepted or should a third referendum be organised?
  • Niue
    Should Niue's status and its relationship with New Zealand be changed, considering that massive emigration has significantly depleted the island's population?

Responses from parties in parliament

Since the 2000 Fiji coup successive governments have imposed travel sanctions on those involved in or close to the coup. As a return to democracy in Fiji is unlikely for another three years, should New Zealand change its policy?

National

Declined to answer this question.

Labour

Our commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law will remain undiluted. We will explore ways of working with the regime in Fiji to return the country to democratic rule. We will maintain smart sanctions because they cause significant inconvenience for those close to the military regime and they are one of the relatively few practical measures that can be imposed that does not further disadvantage the Fijian people.

Green

No, we have to keep the pressure on. We should also be pushing for the UN not to reward the Fiji military by accepting them on UN peacekeeping missions.

ACT

Has not yet answered this question.

Maori

Has not yet answered this question.

United Future

No.

Mana

MANA has not yet completed policy work in this area.

There is no end in sight to a low-level guerrilla war in Indonesia's Papua area, where human rights abuses occur on a scale and with a frequency not seen elsewhere in the Pacific. Should New Zealand pay more attention to the conflict and if so, what could Wellington do?

National

Declined to answer this question.

Labour

Yes, we should pay more attention to this conflict. Labour remains concerned about ethnic violence and human rights abuses in Papua and we urge the United Nations to further investigate incidents of violence and human rights violations. We would like to see greater self-determination for the people of Papua and will continue international efforts to bring about peace and stability.

Green

The issue is not low-level guerrilla war. Guerrilla war is in the past. The Papuan nationalist movement, which is strong, is overwhelmingly peaceful, conducting big demonstrations and pushing for dialogue on the territories future – which New Zealand should explicitly support. We should offer New Zealand as a either a facilitator or a venue for such dialogue between Papuans and the Indonesian government. We should also take up human rights issues more explicitly, including the right of the international community, aid bodies and human rights organisations to have free access to West Papua, which they currently don’t have.

ACT

Has not yet answered this question.

Maori

Has not yet answered this question.

United Future

The current level of attention is appropriate.

Mana

MANA has not yet completed policy work in this area.

Australia is spearheading a policy of processing asylum seekers abroad. Should New Zealand assist Canberra again as it did last decade when some boatpeople detained in Papua New Guinea and Nauru were moved to New Zealand?

National

Declined to answer this question.

Labour

Australia’s decisions about where to process asylum seekers who arrive on their territory is a largely a matter for the Australian Parliament. A Labour government would ensure that asylum seekers arriving in New Zealand would be offered the protections of New Zealand law and that their case for refugee status be determined in New Zealand. A Labour government would discuss issues arising from multiple mass arrivals with regional neighbours but would emphasise the need for a timely and fair legal process for determining refugee status. Our obligation is to abide by our commitments to our refugee quota and to ensure their proper treatment here. We can offer new hope to displaced people and it is clear that we benefit significantly in return.

Green

We don’t support Australia’s policy of processing asylum seekers abroad. With regard to New Zealand we consider we should take more boat people, as approved by the UNHCR, and increase the annual quota of refugees from 750 to 1000.

ACT

Has not yet answered this question.

Maori

Has not yet answered this question.

United Future

Where appropriate, yes.

Mana

MANA has not yet completed policy work in this area.

What should New Zealand consider offering low-lying atoll countries whose populations risk being forced to move because of changes to their habitat caused by higher seas?

National

Declined to answer this question.

Labour

New Zealand should offer technical assistance and aid to enable communities to remain in their home nations for as long as they wish. If home life becomes unsustainable, New Zealand should work with Pacific neighbours to play our part in relocating the most vulnerable populations. Labour will explore the development of a rapid reaction disaster response capability to be deployed at short notice in the Asia-Pacific region.

Green

We should be helping low-lying Pacific nations become more self-sufficient in energy, offering them aid for adaptation, and their climate refugees should have access to New Zealand.

ACT

Has not yet answered this question.

Maori

Has not yet answered this question.

United Future

This should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Mana

MANA has not yet completed policy work in this area.

Tokelau has voted twice in the past decade to stay with New Zealand. Should the outcome of the votes be accepted or should a third referendum be organised?

National

Declined to answer this question.

Labour

The extent of self-determination is a matter for the residents of Tokelau to determine. If Tokelau residents decide to hold a further referendum, New Zealand should assist with that process.

Green

The outcome of the votes should be accepted, Tokelau is not a viable state on its own, with 1500 people widely separated on three islands. The administrative centre is already predominantly in Samoa.

ACT

Has not yet answered this question.

Maori

Has not yet answered this question.

United Future

Yes, why would you not accept the results in this case?

Mana

MANA has not yet completed policy work in this area.

Should Niue's status and its relationship with New Zealand be changed, considering that massive emigration has significantly depleted the island's population?

National

Declined to answer this question.

Labour

Labour supports the right of the remaining 1300 residents of Niue to determine their own future. New Zealand has special obligations to Niue. We have close historical ties and Niue has full self-government in free association with New Zealand as part of the Realm of New Zealand.

Green

That is up to the people of Niue. We should help with infrastructure for fishing and eco-tourism, making sure there are regular flights in, even though this requires subsidies.

ACT

Has not yet answered this question.

Maori

Has not yet answered this question.

United Future

Are you suggesting a return to colonialism? This is an issue for Niue to determine.

Mana

MANA has not yet completed policy work in this area.