The Dim-Post

February 12, 2013

Let’s play musical internment camps

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:35 am

Via Stuff:

New Zealand is considering sending potential asylum seekers to controversial Australian detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

The move would be an attempt to dissuade “boat people” from making the journey to New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key said.

During the weekend, Mr Key and his Australian counterpart, Julia Gillard, announced New Zealand would take 150 asylum seekers from Australian detention centres each year.

“I wanted to do this, I think it’s the right thing to do . . . my view is that we are helping our mates,” Mr Key said.

This makes so much sense. If ‘boat people’ arrive in Australia they get sent to New Zealand, and if they arrive in New Zealand they get sent to Australian detention centers in PNG or Nauru, because we want to dissuade boat people from coming here, even though none ever have, and we’re doing that by accepting a hundred and fifty boat people a year.

Key looked like an imbecile on the news last night trying to justify all of this, with a subsequent graphic showing the route from Indonesia to New Zealand and the ten-thousand odd kilometer detour required to avoid Australia, and he looked like he knew it.

So what’s really going on? My uninformed guess is that we’ve just been bullied by an Australian PM with a tricky domestic issue who is heading into an uncertain election, that Key had no choice but to accept this ‘deal’, which was probably more of a threat, and they’ve resurrected their nonsensical ‘boat people are a’comin’ scare story to try and frame it positively.

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30 Comments »

  1. “and they’ve resurrected their nonsensical ‘boat people are a’comin’ scare story to try and frame it positively.”

    That’s outrageous. Key has solid evidence of this being true, from the people who couldn’t work out if DotCom lived here or not. He remembers it quite clearly, hears about it all the time, can’t show you sorry, secret.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — February 12, 2013 @ 8:42 am

  2. Yeah, the threat was more Novopay projects coming over from Australia.

    Comment by ZenTiger — February 12, 2013 @ 8:43 am

  3. Audrey Young is closest to the mark, reckoning the reciprocal student loan scheme wasn’t a coincidence. An extra 150 boat people brought in under the refugee scheme is a small monetary price to pay for getting access to leach some hundreds of thousands off loan defaulters. The political price simply does not compute, hence the Mobius logic.

    Comment by Will de Cleene — February 12, 2013 @ 8:55 am

  4. What ever one thinks of the politics there is a difference.

    if a boat manages to get to NZ then that would mean having a very large number of people to respond to all at once.

    The 150 coming from Australia would come, I presume, in smaller numbers not all at once which not overload our refugee services.

    Just because it’s Gillard and Key talking about this possibility doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. The only reason it hasn’t is because of our relative isolation and since this is being driven by some very nasty people in the organised crime world who don’t care for the safety of the refugees it would be wrong to assume that they won’t try.

    Comment by NeilM — February 12, 2013 @ 9:23 am

  5. Danyl, we already take close to 1000 poor souls a year. The 150 will be part of that UN quota. No extra refugees at all. If it is linked to the student loan deal then NZ inc has had a big win.
    On the other matter of the PM making a complete fool of himself during the press conference. I agree. Poorly handled, unnecessarily so.
    Something is not quite right with him this year.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — February 12, 2013 @ 9:31 am

  6. You’re labouring under the faulty assumption this is a reality based discussion, Neil.

    Comment by Roger — February 12, 2013 @ 9:43 am

  7. Having NZ buy into the Pacific Solution partly deflects criticisms of the Solution as unfair and discriminatory from various international organisations.

    Comment by Hugh — February 12, 2013 @ 9:56 am

  8. Audrey Young is closest to the mark, reckoning the reciprocal student loan scheme wasn’t a coincidence.

    Watching the ‘Always deliver bad news with some good news’ approach has been amusing.
    For once the press hasn’t seem to buy into it, partly because Key has been shit with the message management around the refugee point.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 12, 2013 @ 10:00 am

  9. Barnsley: According to Amnesty International, NZ takes 750 refugees as part of its UN annual quota.

    Comment by Ataahua — February 12, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  10. The reason is simple. Gillard agreed to hunt down student loan dodgers in Aussie who owe us $600 million. Ockers in NZ only owe $20 million. So the quid-pro-quo was that we take 150 asylum seekers to make up the difference.

    Comment by Bill Engrish — February 12, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  11. + the potential for several hundred millions in Aussie super remittances to Kiwisaver.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 12, 2013 @ 11:29 am

  12. I was trying to find out what was the largest number of asylum seekers on any one boat without much success. But the one that sank in 2001 with 353 drowned had approx 450 on board.

    Perhaps such a number is unlikely to arrive here but if it does and we haven’t planned then everyone will be a lot worse off.

    Comment by NeilM — February 12, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

  13. given how these things tend to play out some time around now Shearer should pop up and take the heat off key

    Comment by NeilM — February 12, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

  14. He already has. He’s told the media that he’s so appalled by this that he’s … going to talk about it.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — February 12, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

  15. 11.”+ the potential for several hundred millions in Aussie super remittances to Kiwisaver.”
    Um, more the other way, surely? :)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 12, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

  16. And you won’t be surprised to learn that the libertarians say “let them come”?

    http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/let-them-come.html

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 12, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

  17. Um, more the other way, surely?

    Hard to know, really. Kiwisaver hasn’t been around that long and only permanent immigrants to Aussie can transfer funds.

    Though the net emigration is about 3-1 in Australias favour, I would assume that the people coming here would do so for lifestyle reasons (Kiwis working in Aus then retiring to NZ or coming here to raise kids) and would be moving their (potentially) much longer term and generous super with them.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 12, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

  18. What’s the difference between pursuing the student loan defaulters as a civil debt and the Oz gvt doing it for us?

    Comment by Owen — February 12, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

  19. Hmmm, did my comment end up in a spam folder or is wordpress being horrid again?

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 12, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

  20. Um, more the other way, surely?
    Hard to know, really. Kiwisaver hasn’t been around that long and only permanent immigrants to Aussie can transfer funds.

    Though the net emigration is about 3-1 in Australias favour, I would assume that the people coming here would do so for lifestyle reasons (Kiwis working in Aus then retiring to NZ or coming here to raise kids) and would be moving their (potentially) much longer term and generous super with them.

    The rules of the Aussie super are generally more favourable, so I can’t imagine that many people would move their money to NZ. For instance, you can gain access to your money at 60 in Australia but 65 in NZ. That stays the same for any money transferred, but not to the interest. So someone with Australian super who moved it to NZ would have to wait an extra five years to gain access to the interest on the money they moved.

    Comment by BeShakey — February 12, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

  21. What with Prosser, Norman going on about the Chinese and Shearer equivocating about everything it sounds like a pre-coalition bonding exercise.

    Comment by NeilM — February 12, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  22. There is definitely an undisclosed deal here.

    Shonkey has seriously compromised NZ in this very unlikely mutual masturbation exercise.

    It smells of a somewhat desperate shonkey national party.

    I cannot imagine why.

    Where the hell is there any opposition to anything this Hawaiian does to this country?

    Wall Street rules, again.

    New Zealand does not matter, Shonkey does.

    VOTE NATIONAL EVERYONE.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — February 12, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

  23. Fruit loop central…

    Comment by titsonabull — February 12, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

  24. >Um, more the other way, surely?

    Who really knows yet? Most Kiwis haven’t got any super to take with them, unlike most Ozzies. But why would an Ozzie want to bring their super here? I think the lion’s share would be returning kiwis bringing back their savings.

    I have some myself, but I’m undecided about the merits of bringing it back here. In Oz, it’s in Ozzie dollars, and invested into the Ozzie stocks and banks. Also, they can retire earlier and draw on it sooner.

    If I could bring it back and put it on my mortgage, I’d do it immediately. But I can’t.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 12, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  25. I read some of the UN reports critical of the conditions in the Australian refugee camps. Then I googled images of UN refugee camps.

    I suppose it could be reasonably argued that what ever the UN failings, Australia can and should do better.

    But that might have some unintended consequences.

    It would result in asylum seekers who could manage to scrap together enough to pay people smugglers to get to Australia spending their time being processed to be refugees in far better conditions than than those that could not.

    Which doesn’t sound very fair.

    Comment by NeilM — February 12, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

  26. Yes NeilM, because we should base our standards on the worst possible conditions the most failed UN camp can achieve, and not a crumb more. Aspirational much?

    But I’m mostly just struck by the irony of our Jewish PM being so keen to lock refugees up in concentration camps indefinitely in the middle of nowhere… perhaps he could have them work in the PNG’s mineral mines to ‘set themselves free’?

    Chch should be worried in case Commissar Gerry gets ideas. Thankfully, there are no islands off Canterbury coast, eh?

    Comment by bob — February 13, 2013 @ 1:57 am

  27. Yes NeilM, because we should base our standards on the worst possible conditions the most failed UN camp can achieve, and not a crumb more. Aspirational much?

    That’s not what I was implying. More that the issue entails a range of tragic moral dilemmas.

    The long term solution lies with countries like Indonesia but Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN refugee committee, has no present intention of doing anything about it and abetts the people smuggling via corruption.

    There’s not much Australia or NZ can do about that ine short term. In the mean time we have to deal with the here and now which is 17,000 boat people being exploited last year.

    I don’t think it’s a issue with easy solutions and I find the critics of Gillard down ply the role of people smugglers, as well as the complexity and moral hazards involved.

    Comment by NeilM — February 13, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  28. Should be UN convention not committee

    Comment by NeilM — February 13, 2013 @ 9:12 am

  29. Public Relations at first five, Steven Joyce in halves, Reserve Bankers with the whistle looking after my investments. The NZ public, who are season ticket holders to this game, sit on crates in the stands great-full they’re not living in Greece. Best weather in years, cheaper TVs, and those troublesome Maori are being kept in there place. And Unions, suckers!

    Should any asylum seekers searching for freedom somehow end up on Mission Bay let Jewish council members greet them with pamphlets of NZ’s ‘get tough’ on low income parasites. My bet is they would jump back into their make shift crafts for fiji, win win.

    Steady as she goes John. Keep making those tough policy decisions on our behalf. Rely on that soft under belly we call ‘main stream media’ to embellish/translate stuff most of us don’t really understand.

    Didn’t Julia look great last weekend? Her hand up that soft-toy-kiwi’s backside, pecking her way through the masses. Public relations gold.

    Oh, hang-on that’s not a good look. Oh, I get it.

    “Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it”.

    Comment by Costanza — February 13, 2013 @ 9:37 am

  30. If ‘boat people’ arrive in Australia they get sent to New Zealand, and if they arrive in New Zealand they get sent to Australian detention centers

    Just to bang on a little more, this is all a bit apples and oranges.

    The 150 we would get from Australia would be refugees, ie they would have had there refugee status confirmed.

    Whereas, if indeed this ever happened, the boat people sent to Australia would be asylum seekers, not refugees.

    Now if these boat people stayed in NZ they would have to go through the UN process of determining whether or not they are refugees. And that can be a long s vexing process and if there’s 450 it could take a considerable period of time.

    If we assume that during that period they are treated as if they were refugees they would given all support that refugees normally get. Living in the community, children at school etc.

    The good news is that, given the Australian experience, 90% will turn out to be refugees and will settle here.

    The bad news is that 10% won’t. Having spent possibly several years here they will be told to go back. Back, somewhere. And it’s likely to go through an extended period of review and appeal. So kids get uprooted and sent, somewhere.

    And that would no doubt get very contentious and bitter.

    I can’t think of any easy solutions, I’m not arguing that the arrangement with Gillard is roght. But it’s worth untangling what would go on and that refugee/ asylum seeker disticrionn is significant. It’s not a form of musical chairs.

    Comment by NeilM — February 13, 2013 @ 7:36 pm


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