Kiwis, what has happened to your conscience?


Golriz Ghahraman escaped Iran as a child in 1990 and resettled in New Zealand with her family. She is now a member of parliament.

And she is asking New Zealanders what has happened to their conscience.

The United Nations has warned that Tuesday’s closure of the detention centre on PNG’s Manus Island could cause a humanitarian crisis.

Ghahraman said New Zealand’s silence makes it complicit in the abuse of human rights.  She says it is time for the New Zealand government to intervene.

“Our values shine through when we protest apartheid or nuclear testing in the Pacific. It would be great if we could help Australia make the right decision and actually take some responsibility for this,” she told RNZ.

“This is our backyard. It is in the Pacific that this level of really grave violation and abuse is happening, has been happening for four years.

It is such a humanitarian emergency. Manus Island is going to be looked at in history as one of the worst and grossest of human rights violations.”

Ghahraman is a member of the Green Party. She has a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said she would renew New Zealand’s offer to resettle some of Australia’s offshore detainees after examining the rejected proposal made by her predecessors.

“I want to look at the detail of the offer that was made and the obligations we’ve set out that we would take on,” she said.

Ardern’s government has committed to doubling New Zealand’s refugee quota to an annual intake of 1500, but also plans to reduce net migration.



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News category: New Zealand.