Photo: Michael Morah, Newshub.
We are tauiwi and tangata whenua. We are migrants, refugees and citizens. We live in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Contemporary migrants and refugees do not come to New Zealand in the same spirit as the Pākehā settlers who colonised Aotearoa in the 19th Century. The Pākehā colonial structure remains in place, and oppresses migrants and refugees, along with Māori.
We express horror at the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA, and Brexit, in the UK, each riding a wave of xenophobia. We recognise that the extreme xenophobia emergent in the USA and the UK can develop here, and therefore aim to challenge any xenophobia propagated by political parties.
We oppose all attempts to blame migrant workers for economic problems. Migrant workers are a net economic benefit to Aotearoa/New Zealand both in terms of GDP and taxes paid. While employers take advantage of migrants to drive down conditions, we demand full rights for migrant workers. While politicians attempt to blame migrants for the housing crisis, we demand that the universal right to housing come before the profitability of housing.
The New Zealand government’s refugee quota has remained stagnant since the 1980s. We rank 78th in the world in terms of refugees per capita. Although the government is complicit in war crimes in the Middle East and North Africa, producing recent waves of displacement, in 2013 the New Zealand government took just 16% of it refugees from the Middle East and 3% from Africa. The New Zealand government is indebted to those displaced by its policies.
Climate change will increasingly affect low-lying atolls in the Pacific, nations which have a minimal carbon footprint. This has already begun with Tuvalu. The New Zealand government owes a climate debt, and accepting climate refugees is part of that obligation, alongside addressing the causes of climate change itself to avoid forced displacement.
We envision a socially just Aotearoa/New Zealand. While focusing specifically on migrant and refugee rights, we also stand in solidarity with all workers, indigenous people, religious and ethnic minorities, disabled people, queer/trans and takatāpui communities.
We understand that blaming migrant workers and refugees is a divide-and-rule tactic. We refuse to be divided. We demand that the government grant full rights for migrant workers, and double the refugee quota.
- Full rights for migrant workers, double the refugee quota.
- Increase funding for resettlement support organisations.
- Open borders to the Pacific.
- Right of migrant workers to unionise.
- Right of all migrants to public services and benefits.
- Regional Seasonal Employer scheme revised to grant full rights to all workers.
- Abolish restrictions on work and student visas.
- Increase funding for labour inspections of migrant workers’ conditions, including coastal shipping and other worksites.
- Universal right to high-quality, low-rent, sustainable urban housing.
- A living wage for all workers, regardless of origin.
- Ability of existing residents to sponsor refugees and migrants, including family members.
- Recognise all legitimate international qualifications.
- Fully fund appropriate support services for migrant women, including family violence intervention.
- Recognise status of climate refugees, call for climate refugees to be internationally recognised.
- Pressure Australian government to drop Mandatory Detention policy.