In ‘a significant change in policy’ Ardern is stopping the boats

Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Ardern’s government budget has given a $25 million dollar funding boost to stop boats full of refugees from landing in New Zealand. This is embarassing for her as she wants to be seen as the kind and compassionate face of New Zealand welcoming refugees in to enjoy our ‘free’ housing, welfare and education.

Indeed she has made quite a big deal about it, complaining that our Australian cousins are refusing to send to us their unwanted illegal migrants on Manus Island. Actions, however, speak louder than words, and Ardern no doubt hoped that the funding boost to stop the boats would go unnoticed.

[…] Efforts to prevent boats of asylum seekers heading to New Zealand received $25 million funding boost in Budget 2019.
The heat has been on New Zealand from the other side of the Tasman for years.

[…] People smuggling was put back in the spotlight last year when intelligence leaks from across the ditch claimed there were new boat arrivals of asylum seekers, blaming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. This was followed by a public spat between Justice Minister Andrew Little and Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, over New Zealand’s contributions to the region’s security.

It seems Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have not been not on the same page about how much of a threat people smuggling poses. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the extra funding to prevent people smuggling would be used to boost New Zealand intelligence at home and offshore in the Asia Pacific region.

After the Budget announcement on Thursday, Lees-Galloway told reporters the risk of smuggling had increased in recent years but not long after, Ardern told reporters, no greater risk of asylum seeker boats travelling to New Zealand had been identified.

[…] The extra funding would be used to boost New Zealand intelligence at home and offshore in the Asia Pacific region. It would be used to invest spy technology to monitor chatter.

Less-Galloway […] insisted […] “There has been absolutely no pressure from the Australian Government. This has been a decision that New Zealand has made because we are aware that we are a target for people smugglers… and we are aware this dangerous journey puts lives at risk.”

[…] No boat had ever made it to New Zealand because it was a dangerous trip – but there had been chatter suggesting people smugglers were targeting and touting New Zealand as a potential destination […]
It was important for New Zealand to remain vigilant and have the appropriate resources to prevent and manage the possibility of a maritime mass arrival, he said.


[…] the move was criticised by Greens co-leader James Shaw, who objected to the spend.
National’s immigration spokesman Michael Woodhouse said […]
It was a significant change in policy for the Labour party that once told him there was more chance of little green men from Mars, than boat people coming to New Zealand, he said.
“They are on record saying it [boat people] was dog whistling and a beat up. Now they are spending-up on preventing boats arriving. If there is no change in the chatter, why is there a change in the investment in our border controls and our intelligence gathering?”

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