February 01, 2017
Refugee backlash not in spirit of manaakitanga
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell is disappointed with an online backlash to his position of taking in more refugees.
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to bar entry to the United States to refugees and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, Mr Flavell reiterated his party’s support for raising New Zealand’s refugee quota from 750 to 1000 a year.
That sparked social media comments that refugees would take jobs and houses from Maori.
Mr Flavell says a spirit of hospitality and openness goes with being Maori.
"For people on Facebook to say 'They're going to take all our jobs or take all our houses.' Really? I thought our people were about manaakitanga and I thought we actually cared about tamariki who have suffered at the hands of dictators and so on in situations that were of no making of their own. I thought we were about that," he says.
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