Refugee quota increase 'shames New Zealand,' says archbishop

By ACNS staff
Posted Jun 14, 2016

[Anglican Communion News Service] The New Zealand Prime Minister has announced that his government will increase the annual quota of refugees that it will accept from 750 to 1,000. But Archbishop Philip Richardson says that the 250 increase shows that the country is failing to act as “a responsible global citizen” and that it ought to do more to help in the current global crisis.

“In the past five years, there has been a 76 percent increase in people displaced due to war and persecution: from 34 million to 60 million people.” he told Anglican Taonga. “Although the stories of terror play out far from our shores, we need to respond as global neighbors and step up to offer as much as we can.

“I believe we are a compassionate and caring country, but in the face of the current crisis, this increase almost says the opposite.”

The archbishop, one of three primates in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, said that even with the increase of a third of the previous quota, New Zealand was lagging well behind comparably sized countries like Ireland.

With less than a third of New Zealand’s land area, and a slightly higher GDP per capita, Ireland has taken in four times the New Zealand refugee quota since 1976.