Modified asylum seeker Bill should now pass

The Immigration Amendment Bill looks like it will now pass after National modified it to get Peter Dunne’s support.

Asylum seeker bill watered down

The Immigration Amendment Bill originally set 10 as the number of people who would form a group of asylum seekers, and under pressure from United Future’s Peter Dunne it is going to change that to 30.

The definition is important because under the legislation a group can be detained under a single warrant, meaning authorities don’t have to process each one and seek individual warrants.

All the opposition parties oppose the bill and Mr Dunne, who has a support agreement with the government, thought the original definition was too harsh.

He said on Friday the government had agreed to change the group definition to 30 people, and because of that he would support the bill through its remaining stages.

This is a small but significant change.

Govt will back UF proposal that definition of mass arrival in new immigration bill be lifted by 300% – from 10 to 30, a sensible outcome

10 could be a large family 🙂

and that was the problem

Not surprisingly Labour is still not happy.

Labour’s Darien Fenton says altering the definition hasn’t changed her party’s attitude to the bill.

“It aligns New Zealand with Australia’s punitive detention policies which have been so destructive in that country,” she said.

“It is based on National’s completely flawed premise that we are under the imminent threat of a mass arrival.”

Except the article also points out…

On Tuesday a fishing boat landed in the West Australian port of Geraldton with 66 Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board who said they wanted help to get to New Zealand.

Some inconvenient news for Labour, but they frequently prove unable to change their opposition when more facts become known.

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