4 Sep 2015

Labour calls for emergency refugee intake boost

8:50 pm on 4 September 2015

The Labour Party says there is no time to wait for a review of the refugee quota, which is why it will try to table a bill in Parliament forcing an emergency intake of refugees.

Caucus run 21/07/15

Labour leader Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Pressure has been mounting on the Government to either lift the current refugee quota or sign off an emergency intake to assist the global refugee crisis.

Labour leader Andrew Little said the situation is dire and New Zealanders everywhere are demanding the country open its doors to these most vulnerable people.

"We cannot stand by and wait for a review. This is a crisis and New Zealanders everywhere are demanding we open our doors to these most vulnerable people.

"All of the parties except National have expressed their desire to help, after seeing the tens of thousands of families flooding across Europe desperate for a new life.

"We have been a country that has welcomed refugees successfully in the past."

"An emergency bill like this is not just needed, it's critical."

He said he would be soliciting support from other parties in an attempt to secure the bill's swift passage through Parliament.

"If Parliament could do it for the Rugby World Cup, we can do it now for the refugees."

He said the advice he has had is that the facilities in New Zealand will be able to cope with the extra 750 refugees his bill would bring in.

The Green Party will also try to table a bill to raise the refugee quota to 1,000 people.

If any one MP objects to either of the bills being introduced, that bill will be blocked.

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