Why New Zealand should condemn Australia’s asylum seeker stance

For many moons, Australia has been a proudly developing first world nation. It has economic wealth, social freedoms and opportunities for its population that many nations can only dream about. It has an ethnic diversity of immigrants who have come to Australia from all over the world at different times, whose contribution to the socio-economic structures that we know to exist in Australia today, are difficult to overestimate. Australia is also a nation that many New Zealanders have moved to over the years and which we enjoy some of the closest economic ties as can be imagined whilst still being sovereign nations.

But that Australia has the most appalling stain when it comes to dealing with some of the worlds most vulnerable people. Despite the many hundreds of thousands of people who have arrived from elsewhere as immigrants being given permanent residency or citizenship, Australia has this almost paranoid fear/hatred of asylum seekers fleeing war zones, be they Rohingya from Myanmar, Afghani’s, Syrians, Iraqi’s. The rampant fear is a deep vein that has driven numerous Liberal Party election campaigns, giving them a platform of scare mongering to run.

In 2001, with an election campaign going badly, the then Prime Minister of Australia John Howard was looking for something that might galvanize his supporters. It came in the form of an asylum seeker boat that had run into difficulty carrying a load of Afghan refugees fleeing their brutal war. A freighter called the M.V. Tampa had answered the distress call and gone to their aid. It had in compliance with international law contacted the Australian marine authorities and asked them for help. Now commonly known as the Tampa Freighter incident, it was Australian paranoia at its worst. In response the Australian Government sent the Royal Australian Navy to make sure that – contrary to maritime law – neither the Tampa or the asylum seeker boat could reach an Australian port. They sent troops to board the boat. The Norwegian Government told Australia not to make the ship turn around against the will of the captain.

Since Mr Howard was beaten in the 2007 elections, Australian Prime Ministers have maintained this stance. No we cannot have them says former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. No, we cannot have them said former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. No we cannot have them said former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. We cannot have these terrorists, these rapists, these militants, women bashers – they’ll breed like flies and there will be hell to pay. No, no, no! Or so seems to be the (il)logical thinking of the Australian Government regardless of stripe.

Australia – and New Zealand – would be much better served by dealing with the problems that lead to these people wanting to seek asylum in the first place. By failing to do so, they are in effect ensuring that not only will asylum issues continue, but that they might grow worse and potentially lead to a major tragedy on the high seas.

New Zealand has a chance to undo some of the damage its reputation has suffered in the last decade by telling Australia that we consider their maltreatment of asylum seekers to be unbecoming of a nation that fought for the freedom and well being of millions during World War 2. As one of two wealthy first world nations in the South Pacific we have a responsibility to show the developing nations in our corner of the world how a responsible nation acts on the world stage. Right now that is not happening. As a tax paying New Zealander with a social conscience I cannot tolerate this non-acceptance of our responsibility.

One thought on “Why New Zealand should condemn Australia’s asylum seeker stance

  1. Sent from a correspondent of mine in the US.
    It may also explain Australia’s stance.

    How Stupid are We? Apparently VERY, VERY, STUPID!!!!!!!!!!

    Last night the Republican Candidates FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY pushed back on the obvious BIASED media …let’s do a little LOT more!!! Read on!!

    The war started in the 7th century and lasted through the 17th century. I would contend it never stopped but historically the facts below are correct.
    This is why I choke when I hear someone say we will defeat or contain these Islamic terrorists in a few years or even 30 years as recently stated by Leon Panetta.
    If the latest batch of murders, beheadings, and killing of innocent Christians has shocked you, maybe you should read this compilation of historical facts about the hatred of Muslims.

    This is all factually (and historically) correct – and verifiable:
    In 732 A.D. the Muslim Army, which was moving on Paris, was defeated and turned back at Tours, France, by Charles Martell.
    In 1571 A.D. the Muslim Army/Navy was defeated by the Italians and Austrians as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to attack southern Europe in the Battle of Lepanto.
    In 1683 A.D. the Turkish Muslim Army, attacking Eastern Europe, was finally defeated in the Battle of Vienna by German and Polish Christian Armies.

    This crap has been going on for 1,400 years and half of the politicians don’t even know it.
    If these battles had not been won, we might be speaking Arabic and Christianity could be non-existent; Judaism certainly would not exist.

    Reflecting :
    A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine that America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.
    Pause a moment and reflect back.
    These events are actual events from history. They really happened! Do you remember?:

    1. In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male.
    2. In 1972, at the Munich Olympics, Israeli athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim males.
    3. In 1972, a PanAm 747 was hijacked and eventually diverted to Cairo where a fuse was lit on final approach.
    Shortly after landing it was blown up by Muslim males.
    4. In 1973, a PanAm 707 was destroyed in Rome, with 33 people killed, when it was attacked with grenades by Muslim males.
    5. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim males.
    6. During the 1980 ‘s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim males.
    7. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim males.
    8. In 1985, the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70-year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim males.
    9. In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim males.
    10. In 1988, PanAm Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim males.
    11. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim males.
    12. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim males.
    13. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim males.
    14. In 2002, the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim males.
    15. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by – you guessed it – a Muslim male. (Plus two other American journalists who were just recently beheaded ).
    16. In 2013, the Boston Marathon Bombing resulted in 4 Innocent people, (including a child) being killed and 264 people injured by Muslim males.
    No Obama, I really don’t see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you?
    So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people.
    So, ask yourself “Just how stupid are we???”
    Absolutely No Profiling! They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the Obama’s security detail, 85-year-old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss,

    BUT……..leave Muslim Males alone lest we be guilty of profiling.
    Ask yourself, “Just how stupid are we? “Have the American people completely lost their minds or just their Power of Reason???
    Let ‘s send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Alred’s and other stupid attorneys, along with Federal Justices, that want to thwart common sense, feel ashamed of themselves — if they have any such sense.
    As the writer of the award winning story ” Forrest Gump ” so aptly put it, “Stupid Is As Stupid Does.”
    Each opportunity that you have to send this to a friend or media outlet… Do It!




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