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Raise the refugee quota now: Green Party

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/02/2017

The Green Party want New Zealand's refugee quota doubled effective immediately, and will seek to introduce a bill to parliament to make it happen.

The government has already approved an increase in the refugee quota from 750 to 1000 in 2018 but Green Party co-leader James Shaw wants the quota raised further and the change implemented straight away.

The party will seek to introduce a bill to parliament on Wednesday to change the current annual quota to 1500 this year and 2000 from from 2018.

Mr Shaw said it was a small law change that would make a massive difference to the lives of people affected by conflict and persecution.

"In a world racked with uncertainty and turmoil, welcoming a few hundred more refugees is the least we can do to pull our weight," he said.

"Communities across New Zealand have said they'd welcome more refugees with open arms, so let's make it happen."

Both the Greens and Labour have pledged to double the quota if elected in September while United Future leader Peter Dunne last week urged the government to look at more opportunities community sponsorship of refugees.

A pilot programme for up to 25 people is due to be trialled this year.

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