Boat People

Looks like John Key was right about boat people

via Keeping Stock

When National rushed through legislation about stopping boat people through parliament the opposition and their lap-bloggers squealed that it was unnecessary.

In 2010, Labour MP Phil Twyford attacked John Key on Red Alert:

Does John Key really think New Zealand is about to be hit by a wave of boat people?

“What I’ve said to the Australian prime minister is that we recognise there is a problem, and we recognise that from New Zealand’s perspective it’s a problem that is coming towards our shores at some point in the future.”
Mr Key said that from all the intelligence he had received, this was “a real issue”.

Has he looked at a map recently? There is a lot of ocean between us and them. Short of us putting out the welcome mat for people-smugglers it seems very unlikely they will make it this far.

In 2011, former Green MP Keith Locke accused the PM of scaremongering in this post on the party’s Frogblog:

John Key’s scaremongering about boat people flooding into the country damages New Zealand’s race relations, Green Party immigration spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

“While John Key’s approach may increase the National Party’s ‘redneck’ vote, as happened to John Howard in Australia, it will be at a cost to race relations in New Zealand,” said Keith Locke.

“Racial dog whistling about refugees is unbefitting of a Prime Minister.

And just last year, those bastions of left-wing reason at The Standard accused John Key of invoking the “yellow peril”:

Bad jobs numbers and a succession of collapses of major businesses weighing your government down? You need: distraction! How about an old classic from the New Zealand politician’s playbook – the Yellow Peril!

Passed on by Richard Seddon and Winston Peters, Yellow Peril’s now being wielded by John Key as he talks of vague, unsubstantiated threats that boatloads of Indonesians are heading for our shores (no, I’m not sure what terrors are meant to eventuate when they land, either)

Of course, the closest any boat people have actually come to reaching New Zealand was when our mates, the Aussies, thought about helping them

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Never mind that Indonesia is literally 1/6th of the world away,* John Key wants us to know the ‘threat’ from boat people, threat of what I don’t know, is very real and something we should all be worried about. Far more worried than we should be about, say, the threat of losing our jobs. (* At nearly 4,000 miles the distance from the closest parts of Indonesia to New Zealand is the distance from Europe to North America and back. Most boat people make trips from Indonesia to one of Australia’s offshore islands, a journey of a couple of hundred miles. So, we’re being asked to believe that boat people are planning, for no apparent reason, to make a journey 20 times longer and over colder, rougher, open seas in the Tasman, when Australia’s right there, literally in the way – doesn’t seem like a profitable business venture for the people smugglers for a start, 20 times the operating costs.)

Read more »

Here they come…

Australia has clamped down on boat people, turning them away by force…now they appear to b coming for us.

Audrey Young reports from the NZ Herald.

People-smugglers in Indonesia are promoting a passage to New Zealand in shipping containers for up to $17,000 a person and are describing it to would-be customers as “the cruise ship option”, an Australian news investigation has found.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse warns anyone contemplating the trip: “Don’t come.”

He says a law passed in June for mass arrivals means New Zealand is prepared if any do.   Read more »

Abbott keeps his promise – boat-people turned back

Looks like Tony Abbott has proved that you can actually turn back the boats despite claims from Kevin Rudd.

“Forty four Pakistani asylum-seekers, including four children, and two crew were brought to Indah Kiat port at Banten in Java at about 8am today, according to Indonesian police and rescue officers.

They were rescued yesterday by HMAS Ballarat near the southern mouth of the Sunda Strait after the engine on their fishing boat failed and it began taking water.  Read more »

Abbott stops the boats

It looks like Tony Abbott has stopped the boats, almost immediately.

CHRISTMAS Island’s top bureaucrat says he believes there has been a marked slowdown in asylum boat arrivals since the return of the Coalition government and last minute policy changes by Labor before it lost the election.

Jon Stanhope, the former longstanding Labor chief minister of the ACT, said he had “no doubt” the new policies were having an impact on people smuggler movements.

“Over this last three or four weeks it’s been very noticeable that the rate of arrivals has slowed,” Mr Stanhope told ABC radio.  Read more »

Chart of the Day – Boat People

Irrespective of whether or not boat people can make it to New Zealand (3,000 km of nasty open ocean to navigate) the numbers are much larger than people imagine.

When National amended the Immigration Act last year Labour claimed that there was no real need that the numbers were small and that we needn’t be worried about it.

Labour’s immigration spokeswoman Darien Fenton said it was important New Zealand’s borders were secure but the proposals were an over-reaction. She said New Zealand had taken far less than its annual quota of 750 refugees in recent years.

I thought I’d check what all the fuss was about…since it is massive news in Australia. A quick google search later and all the details can be found on an Australian government website. Including this chart:

BoatArrivals-2 Read more »

Boat people coming to NZ…Never said Labour…now look what has happened

Labour said that boat people will never come to NZ. Even now David Shearer is insisting that NZ is too far for boat people. And yet some have turned up, albeit lost off Australia, but carrying placards nonetheless expressing their desire to come here.

A ramshackle fishing boat carrying 66 suspected asylum seekers from Sri Lanka has arrived in Australia – carrying passengers holding a sign saying “We want to go to New Zealand”.

The overcrowded wooden fishing vessel carrying men, women and children was spotted off the coast of Geraldton, about 400km north of Perth in Western Australia.

It is believed to be the first boat to have travelled so far south in recent years. Most asylum seekers arrive near Christmas Island, more than 2000km north, where they are usually intercepted.  Read more »

The Huddle

newstalkzb

I was on Larry Williams’ Huddle last night with Josie Pagani

We discussed:

Maybe the boat people violate this basic rule

I really don’t know what all the fuss is about with the so-called boat people coming to New Zealand.

Though we should be cautious, the first lot of boat people who made it here have caused no end of problems ever since.

Perhaps we need a simple three question test to check to see if people can come here…like this one the Aussies use.  Read more »

What the Aussies think about our generous offer to take Boat People

Not much.

Andrew Bolt points out that 150 people per annum is just less than one weeks worth of arrivals:

2 February 2013

HMAS Bathurst, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted a suspected irregular entry vessel north east of Christmas Island overnight.

Initial indications suggest there are 60 people on board.  Read more »

Euphemism for the day: Irregular maritime arrivals

In the case of Australia, concerns over ‘unauthorised’ boat arrivals or ‘boat people’ (also referred to as ‘irregular maritime arrivals’) have occupied successive governments since the 1970s. However, many argue that the number of boat arrivals in Australia is very small in comparison to the significant flows of ‘unauthorised’ arrivals in other parts of the world over the last few decades.    —aph.gov.au

Well, sure.  Compared to the Iraqis fleeing their country before Desert Storm, or compared to the mess that’s Dafrur, I guess that would be true.

But that’s really just hiding the true problem among bigger numbers.

Australia publish  a quarterly report on their immigration problems.  In the latest one, IMAs (Irregular Maritime Arrivals, remember?) , presents some scary looking numbers:   Read more »