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NZ immigration reforms might be discriminatory

Posted on 7 May at 9 AM Tags: Immigration, Law, Property,

As reported by Radio New Zealand, a UN representative asserts that proposed changes in New Zealand immigration law may breech international refugee conventions. Under the reform, anyone arriving to New Zealand in a group of twelve or more may be detained with a group warrant.

Furthermore, if the migrants end up with permanent residency, they would be able to bring in immediate family members, but not extended family members (as is currently allowed). The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will be making a submission on the reforms.

Rick Towle, Regional UNHCR representative, says that if detention is enforced with a punishment or a deterrent, it may breech international discrimination principles. Decisions on detention must be made by assessing the risk a particular migrant poses, Mr Towle says. However, group detention is a concept that generally should be avoided, he added.

Mr Towle says the law reforms will not discourage migrants from applying for refugee title in New Zealand, since those who desperately wish to leave their homes will take drastic measures.
Paul Power, CEO of Refugee Council of Australia, criticises the reforms, saying that the New Zealand Government is trying to replicate the very worst of Australian immigration policy—and for no good reason.
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