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Refugees should sign values statement: ACT

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/06/2016
ACT leader David Seymour. © Getty Images ACT leader David Seymour.

ACT Party leader David Seymour wants refugees to sign a so-called values statement when they come to New Zealand.

Mr Seymour says he backs the government's decision to lift the annual refugee quota from 750 to 1000, but he wants more to be done to ensure those arriving here share New Zealand's values.

"Why wouldn't we state these values clearly to the people seeking join our country?" he said.

In Australia and Belgium, immigrants are required to sign a statement of commitment to national values and Mr Seymour said New Zealand could have one too.

"A New Zealand values statement could include a commitment to respect the basic freedoms that make this country a wonderful place to live.

"Specifically, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and respect for women and those of different sexualities should be understood and respected by all new New Zealanders."

But NZ First leader Winston Peters says that's an old idea that's long been part of his party's immigration policy.

"All of a sudden he is for a New Zealand values appraisal of each refugee. And apparently also he wants them to respect issues of equality where women are concerned," Mr Peters said.

"That is a direct steal from NZ First's long held policy position on immigrants and refugees ... Whilst imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, unacknowledged new policy sources are not."

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