‘NZ is not in any position to pick or choose’

Newshub 6pm Tuesday 8 January 2019

In this 3 news Whaleoil?transcript, a reporter reveals that New Zealand cannot offer asylum to a refugee under the protection of the UN and have the offer accepted without the permission of the UN. Also, we learn that a refugee can request asylum in a country but their request cannot be granted by that country without the country first gaining the permission of the United Nations.

Is this an admission that New Zealand does not have sovereignty over who it grants refugee status too?

Whaleoil partial transcript: TV3 Newshub 6pm 8 January 2019.

Mitch McCann

[…] In the last two hours there has been a reprieve for Rahaf. The UN’s refugee agency stepped in, helping her get her passport back and it will now assess whether or not it can grant her asylum in another country. The Australian government is now under pressure to help Rahaf to resettle here. It says it is monitoring the situation closely and says it wants her to be assessed for asylum as soon as possible. The refugee assessment could take up to a week as Rahaf now waits patiently in Thailand hoping to be offered a new home.

Tom McRae:

Okay Mitch, viewers will be wondering in New Zealand can do anything to help. What’s our governments’ position?


Well Tom, our government offers resettlement to 1000 refugees every year but told us in a statement this afternoon it is not in any position to pick or choose or advocate on behalf of individuals. […] if someone like Rahaf wants to come to New Zealand it has to be referred to Immigration New Zealand from the United Nations in the first place so it seems if Rahaf wants to come to a country like Australia or New Zealand that decision first sits with the United Nations.