News

Asylum seekers 'queue-jumping'

ACT leader John Banks said NZ-bound asylum seekers should be told 'don't bother' if they were intent on coming here without following proper process.
ACT leader John Banks said NZ-bound asylum seekers should be told 'don't bother' if they were intent on coming here without following proper process. Glenn Jeffrey/ NZ Herald

A GROUP of Chinese asylum seekers reportedly headed for New Zealand are queue-jumping and should be told "don't bother", Act leader John Banks says.

The Government needed to make it clear to all asylum seekers that they must follow proper process to come to New Zealand, Mr Banks said today.

A group of 10 asylum seekers arrived in Darwin last Thursday but are reportedly planning to travel on to New Zealand.

The group, understood to have left Malaysia on a yacht last month, have said they are Falun Gong members and could be persecuted in China if they are returned there.

Australia has granted them temporary visas until this weekend, but has said it can not stop the group from sailing on to New Zealand.

New Zealand Immigration Minister Nathan Guy said yesterday that Immigration NZ would work closely with Australian authorities, and expressed concern about safety should the group attempt the voyage to New Zealand.

Mr Banks said the group should be told "don't bother" if they were intent on coming to New Zealand without following proper process.

"New Zealand is a blessed country and we deserve the right to have our laws and processes respected," he said in a statement.

"Queue-jumping is also incredibly unfair on the refugees that follow the proper processes and we must respect their rights as well."

Mr Banks said the Government needed to send a message to all would-be asylum seekers that queue-jumping was not the way it was done in in New Zealand.

"Not to do so would encourage further breaches of our laws and protocols," he said.

"The journey from Australia to New Zealand is fraught with danger and being upfront about our position would deter these refugees from putting their lives at risk."

Topics:  asylum seekers, new zealand




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