Key's claims 'incredible' – Shearer
Tue, 12 Feb 2013 6:15p.m.
By Tova O'Brien
The Prime Minister has made a remarkable claim to explain his offer to take 150 asylum seekers from Australia each year.
John Key says he received intelligence that if we didn't let a boat in, Australia would shepherd it here regardless.
But Labour doesn't buy it, and is calling for proof.
Thousands of asylum seekers arrive in Australia by boat each year, and it didn't take much convincing for New Zealand to agree to accept 150 of them.
It's a preemptive strike according to Mr Key, because if we don't take them willingly, Australia would lead them here anyway.
“If a boat turns up in Australia, there's much chance they would shepherd it across the Tasman,” he says.
But he didn't hear that from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Once again, his spies told him so.
“Well, another prime minister's not going to ring me about those issues,” he says. “It comes from my intelligence sources.”
That’s not good enough for Labour.
“Where is this intelligence? This is an incredible claim,” says Labour leader David Shearer.
But Mr Key says he can show Mr Shearer the paperwork.
“If he'd like to have a briefing at the next Select Committee and see the paperwork, I’d be more than happy to release that for him.”
Mr Key didn't hold back in 2011 either, when 85 Tamil asylum seekers were stopped in Malaysia – apparently destined for New Zealand.
Mr Key called the asylum seekers “criminals”.
“These are people that are trying to jump the queue,” he said.
So seven months ago people like that were criminal "queue jumpers". Now under this new deal if they land in Australia and are declared UN refugees, they're welcome.
“They're not queue jumpers – they have to be genuine refugees,” Mr Key says.
Labour's doing its best to get Mr Key on the ropes over this deal. But despite being completely against it, Mr Shearer admits that if in power, he wouldn't scrap it. Instead he says he’d call Australia to talk about it.
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14/02/2013 2:15:10 p.m.
John Key has his head up his @##$ if he thinks 150 is all it will be. Letting them be hearded across here from ausy is crazy. We will be having boats turning up all over our shores because we will be portrayed as suckers who will let anyone in. We pertty much do now. At at the end of the day they are filling up all the big spaces all the people leaving this sinking ship in droves i guess. We will be in life boats ourselves by the time the next election comes along at the rate things are going under this idiotic govt!!!!!!
13/02/2013 9:19:59 a.m.
150 Asylum seekers from Australia in exchange for 400 skilled tradesmen a week going the other way. Seems fair to me
13/02/2013 3:34:49 a.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
What does Labour leader Mr Shearer stand for, especially with regard to taking 150 refugees from Ozzie. He is against what Mr Key has negotiated with Ozzie, and would not change anything, but he would ring Ozzie and have a talk about it.??? He would be better of saying nothing.
12/02/2013 10:43:53 p.m.
Shouldnt have too much problem, take them in give them the NZ residency and they will be over the ditch in no time.
12/02/2013 9:06:38 p.m.
Those same intelligence sources that forgot to check whether Dotcom was a New Zealand resident before they illegally spied on him?.
IN a few months key will have a brain fade over the whole issue and it will turn out that his intelligence sources had really said that Australia would bombard us with tuna boats.
12/02/2013 7:37:40 p.m.
So Shearer making noise abut nothing. He wouldn't scrap it. That sums it up.We did a deal with Aus, they vet the people, save NZ some money, and we still take the same total number, while taking some off Aus hands. Both countries gain.Amensty unhappy as no extra refugees taken, yet its no worse than no deal.
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