Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees at a LUSH store in Wellington.
The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. In addition to the 800 signed in stores, 1200 postcards have been distributed to ActionStation members to send directly to Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse.
“Currently people granted refuge in New Zealand fall into two legal categories. Both groups of people come here under extremely difficult conditions, fleeing war or persecution in their homelands. Yet only people who get the label ‘Quota refugee’ are entitled to Government resettlement support” says ActionStation Co-Director Marianne Elliott.
Minister for Internal Affairs, Peter Dunne accepted the postcards “I’m really delighted to receive these and will certainly deliver them to the Minister [for Immigration].”
“Apart from anything else it’s a fairness issue”
“I think New Zealanders are ready for it, they just need some leadership” said Minister Dunne.
Daniel Gamboa Salazar, who sought refuge in New Zealand from Colombia, spoke at the event “I was thinking about how blessed I am to have the opportunities to be here and to have been provided with the support that we needed to settle here, and I was thinking of the people who don’t come here as quota refugees and don’t have that support and how difficult it would be to settle here without it.”
“I think the refugee crisis is the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world right now, and this whole message, to ‘go beyond the labels’, aligns with what LUSH stands for – fighting for the rights of humans and animals,” said Wellington LUSH staff member Francine Besas.