John Key should visit Australia’s offshore detention centres himself and read the reports by respected international agencies about them before he suggests that New Zealand might use the centres for asylum seekers arriving here, the Green Party said today.
“The strength of multiple damning international reports on Australia’s policy means John Key needs to see the conditions in the offshore detention centres first-hand, instead of relying on Julia Gillard’s word,” said Green Party immigration spokesperson Jan Logie.
“The Government needs to take a stand against this inhumane Australian policy, not adopt it for its own use.
“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has repeatedly and extensively criticised Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and the conditions they force asylum seekers to live in.
“Amnesty International has described conditions in the Nauru detention centre as ‘cruel, inhumane and degrading’.
“Due to potential wait times for processing of up to 76 years in Indonesian refugee camps, some asylum seekers have taken the dangerous option of taking to the sea, and we should not be further traumatising them by making use of Australia’s abhorrent offshore detention centres.
“New Zealanders rightly expect that people seeking asylum from hardship be treated with respect, dignity and compassion, not sent offshore and locked away in traumatising detention centres,” Ms Logie said.