Border Control Arguments
New Zealand may be one of the most geographically isolated nations on Earth, but its leaders say the country is not immune to the risks of refugees arriving by boat and have now drafted tough measures against any who do arrive. The National Party is proposing laws amongst which would allow holding boat refugees in mass detention centres for up to six months. “We want to send a clear message to potential people-smugglers that we are not an easy target,” said Prime Minister John Key, echoing some of the rhetoric used by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The plans are already running into criticism. Refugee expert at the Auckland University of Technology Professor Max Abbott said the new measures would damage New Zealand’s positive international reputation for dealing with refugee and humanitarian issues. “The Australian treatment of ‘boat people’ through mass detention under harsh conditions has tarnished that country’s reputation and been an embarrassment to fair-minded Australians,” Abbott said.