21 Jul 2013

Expectation that boat people will target NZ dismissed by Labour

2:23 pm on 21 July 2013

Labour is dismissing a statement by Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse that new measures by Australia to crack down on boat refugees will make New Zealand a target for people smuggling.

On Friday, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that asylum seekers who arrive by boat will be taken straight to Papua New Guinea for processing.

Mr Woodhouse said on Saturday the likelihood that people smugglers will now target this country vindicates the need for a bill passed by Parliament last month.

Labour opposed the bill which deals with the possible mass arrival of asylum seekers.

Immigration spokesperson Darien Fenton said the chances of boats of asylum seekers coming from Indonesia without any help or assistance is very slim.

But Federation of Multicultural Councils president Tayo Agunlejika said refugees will go to desperate lengths to reach a developed country.