August 01, 2019
Refugee block reaction to wider disrespect
A Whanganui iwi leader Ken Mair says the government should look to fixing social issues like homelessness before moving large numbers of refugees into the community.
Ken Mair forced Immigration New Zealand to halt a meeting on Monday night to discuss its plans to send up to 150 refugees a year to the city.
He says before making the decision or holding the meeting the department should have consulted properly with iwi and local government.
Māori need to be at the decision making table when immigration policy is made.
"The issue really is we've got to take responsibility for our own needs and aspirations as Māori in Aotearoa and we are not going to put up with others making decisions for us when we know full well that when we signed the Treaty of Waitangi with the crown in 1840, our tūpuna would never have expected us to be subservient or slaves in our own land," Mr Mair says.
He has nothing against refugees, but Māori need their concerns addressed.
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