The madness of Manus Island and what NZ should be doing

By   /   November 3, 2017  /   13 Comments

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I think attempting to rehabilitate 700+ highly traumatised male refugees when we have 10000+ in our own prison system with barely any rehabilitation services, let alone the hundreds of thousands within the community who are being  let down by the non-existent mental health system would be a huge call that could easily implode in public anger.

Suddenly everyone has an opinion on Manus Island. I was on Media Take earlier this year in May talking about Australia’s regretful role in the pacific and made the point that NZ needed to publicly  criticise the horror of the ‘Pacific Solution’ alongside their appalling domestic policy of shipping any NZer who committed a crime back to NZ.

Let’s not forget Australia are still running Nauru and Christmas Island.

Simply turning their backs on the 600 refugees on Manus Island and walking away as they have is an abomination but it’s an abomination Australia are still playing out on Christmas Island and Nauru and they are still renditioning NZers from Australia.

NZ has been flooded with over 600 prisoners, many of whom have no family connections or support networks here in NZ and there is a further 1000 yet to be sent…

Police figures reveal 660 people were removed from Australia between January 1, 2015 and January 19, 2017 under Australian legislation introduced in December 2014, which meant Kiwis who had committed crimes and been sentenced to jail for 12 months or more could be deported.

It is expected up to 1500 will be sent to New Zealand.

…the Australians have exported the rotten fruits of their society to our society simply because the person was born here. Most of those being exported have lived the majority of their lives in Australian culture, their crime is a responsibility of the culture that criminal grew up in, not the birth home of the criminal! 30% of these exports are already reoffending, and they are being placed into our prison system that can barely look after the domestic prisoners we currently have.

So what is to be done?

Action Station are calling for the Manus Island detainees to all come to New Zealand.

That’s one hell of a commitment.

All of these detainees have been horrifically traumatised by their 5 year detention on Manus Island, most are men.

600+ deeply traumatised men flooding our pretty pathetic rehabilitation services on top of those being sent directly here by Australia would be a political time bomb waiting to explode.

What about Christmas Island and Nauru detention camps? If we are going to take all the Manus Island detention centre refugees, why not take them all?

I think attempting to rehabilitate 600+ highly traumatised male refugees when we have 10000+ in our own prison system with barely any rehabilitation services, let alone the hundreds of thousands within the community who are being  let down by the non-existent mental health system would be a huge call that could easily implode in public anger.

I think our gesture to take 150 by Key was very generous, and Jacinda has the political good will capacity to take even some more, but that in of itself is simply not enough.

We actually need to call Australia out.

The forced rendition of what are effectively Australian citizens back to NZ, a country many have no connection to at all, is an outrage. What Australia has done on Manus Island is an outrage. What Australia are continuing to do on Christmas Island and Nauru is an outrage – taking in all the refugees from Manus simply allows Australia off the hook.

We must call out Australia on their policy, we can’t clean up their mess for them.

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. Red Buzzard says:

    +100 I agree with this POST…Australia must take responsibility! ….NOT
    New Zealand!

    …Australia must NOT be let off the hook! Australia is in danger of becoming a rogue criminal nation. It has a very poor record on human rights

    …we should NOT be a second class dumping ground for Australia …if New Zealand becomes a soft touch it will never end ( why should we become a convict colony for THE CONVICT COLONY?)

    …and it isn’t as if they treat New Zealanders who have been brought up in Australia that well either!…they are detaining, incarcerating and ejecting Australians with New Zealand ancestry who have been brought up in Australia, have their families in Australia and their whole lives in Australia…for very minor crimes

    TOUGH LINE ON AUSTRALIA!…or they will walk all over us!

  2. Mike the Lefty says:

    Right.
    Jacinda Adern is reportedly meeting with Turnbull on Sunday and is going to bring up the issue.
    It will be a good test of her mettle to give that lying cretinous Turnbull a few home truths about his parentage.

    • Marc says:

      Turnbull will be the usual arrogant Australian PM, telling Jacinda to go and take a hike, should she come and express a hint of criticism. Australia needs New Zealand much less than New Zealand needs Australia, will be his view, and hence the former government went there, talked nice, had a few snaps taken for Instagram, and went home quickly, trying to make things pass as quickly as possible.

      So the question will be, how will Jacinda Ardern react to this, how will she digest the put down or let down by the ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ across the ditch, and how will she go from there?

      As for Manus Island and its the detention centre, now officially closed, the refugees were meant to move to other ‘accommodation’, temporarily at least, but they did in their majority refuse.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Regional_Processing_Centre

      The latest:
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/343026/canberra-accused-of-leaving-png-officials-in-dark-over-manus

      Australia could and should have dealt with this differently, and what is going on is irresponsible, it is a disgrace.

      New Zealand should indeed not simply accept all of the refugees, as to my understanding many appear to have been accepted to be moved to the US. We cannot simply clean up the mess the Australians have left behind. The camp was declared illegal by the PNG courts.

      This report says the following:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/02/world/australia/manus-island-refugees.html

      “Many of the men have already had their asylum claims vetted and approved by the United States and are awaiting placement there, according to American officials. But nearly 200 have been rejected, leaving them in legal limbo.”

      So Australia should be facing more embarrassment by having this matter put before the UN.

      Humanitarian aid needs to be offered, if needed, to PNG. A transition solution must be negotiated, so the refugees are safe, get medical and other care.

  3. Observer Tokoroa says:

    It is difficult to see why Australia should have to keep criminals who are not citizens of Australia. Even if they learnt their crime within Australia. You belong where you are born.

    Just as it would not be necessary for New Zealanders to keep non Citizens if they are criminals or commit crime here. For you belong where you are born.

    After all, we have a high incidence of crime here and no apparent solution towards eradicating it.

  4. Pat O'Dea says:

    We should be taking retaliatory action against Australia. And removing the free entry privileges of of Australians.

    Compare the free entry of White Majority Settler Country Australia to the controlled entry afforded Pacific Islander countries. The native people of the region who once freely roamed the Pacific before the entry of the various rival European colonising empires into the region.

    Currently the New Zealand government is looking into easing the controlled entry from Polynesia into New Zealand in the face of climate change.

    How will climate refugees be determined? Will we wait until the Island nations are being regularly hit by super storms that smash their homes and ruin their crops?
    Will we wait till famine and disease caused by salt water intrusion into formerly arable low lying island nations are killing people by the hundreds, or even thousands?

    Will we be waiting for these climate change driven events to occur, ‘before’ we allow the sort of free entry we allow majority white Australia?

    When will the colonialist racist double standard we apply to the ‘controlled’ entry of Pacific Island people into this country, compared to free entry of Australians be ended?

    Now?

    After people start dying?

    Not even then?

    The truth is that both Australia and New Zealand have been running a race based immigration system modified from the original “White New Zealand” immigration. Australia’s White Australia maybe a little less reconstructed from their earlier White Australia policy but not much

    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/white-new-zealand-policy-introduced

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98429364/Government-considering-experimental-climate-change-visa?cid=app-iPad

  5. Historian Pete says:

    Another question is are the refugees who are and already have been accepted into N.Z. properly assimilated.I know people who work with refugees. They are saying that the present provisions for integrating refugees are not adequate.The refugees receive help for a year, and are then left much to their own devices.What help is given is mainly oriented towards the women and children through play and education centres and volunteer agencies . This is largely how they learn English and our culture.The men on the other hand are being left out and unless they get steady employment are likely to be isolated from the “N.Z community”.It is easy for men in this situation to congregate in alienated groups, which is not going to produce good outcomes.

    • Sam Sam says:

      New Zealand’s role in creating The Migrant Refugee crises has increased in the last 9 years and now those that are responsible for this mess and on opposition benches groaning that the current government will have to deal with a tiny tiny bit of The Crises.

      Iirc the 1951 convention on the status of refugees says you must have earn less than $3 (it was less than $3. Don’t recall exactly) Well at least 2 billion of the worlds population are on less than $3 a week. Some don’t even earn that much in a year. And why is this? Well it’s because western governments (America mostly) pretty much say you can only do with your natural resources what we tell you to. And what they tell them to do is the same as what elites say, “you can only do the stuff that make the rich elite even richer.” Just morally bankrupt.

      Now the status of the refugees in question are quite clear. They’ve all been through no less than 5 years dentention as undocumented for legal reasons. One reason is because they have been assessed as litigimate refugees but for political reasons can’t be allowed in to Australia of risk an overwhelming wave of migrant refugees. If they stay as they are they will be tormented. If they return they will be tormented. And if they we allow them into NZ with out treating them with the kind of dignity we find hard to show even our own, they will be tormented.

      And this isn’t a matter of funds or resources. I could take you through the detail if you want. There’s plenty of resources. We just don’t have the brains. But more importantly the politcal will and an understanding of global macro economics.

  6. patricia bremner says:

    NZ offered to take 150 refugees from Manus.

    Australia never acted on it. That is still live.

  7. Andrew says:

    Just a technical point: They’re not refugees.

    True refugees would fall under the UN refugee scheme. These people are just failed illegal immigrants, who need to be sent home.

    • Marc says:

      ‘Home’ to where they may be persecuted and killed?

      • Red Buzzard says:

        why is there such an imbalance of males wanting asylum compared to females and children?

        ….surely if they were genuine refugees it would be 50/50 males/females?

        …and women are the most persecuted in the countries from which they are supposedly fleeing

        …New Zealand is an egalitarian society …both Maori and Pakeha women have rights and dignity which must not eroded