The Manus Island refugee situation is a devastating human rights crisis on our doorstep and we urge Prime Minister Ardern to be firm with her Australian counterpart in seeking to activate the New Zealand Government’s longstanding offer to accept at least 150 of the refugees.

The parallels with refugees fleeing the Holocaust after WW2 and the Manus Island refugees are strong: both groups were looking for a safe haven free from physical violence and intimidation, both groups were severely traumatised and both had experienced the most extreme of conditions.

Our new Prime Minister has stated she wants her Government to be characterised by ‘kindness’; in this vein, we again urge her to be very clear and strong in her compassion when she meets with Prime Minister Turnbull this weekend.

In line with UNHCR concerns, Manus Island demands the compassionate and decisive action from a nation such as New Zealand.

Statement by HCNZ Chairman, Jeremy Smith

[Originally posted on the HCNZ website]