New Zealand passes law to detain asylum seekers for six months

14.06.2013 06:15

New Zealand has passed a new law
allowing authorities to detain groups of
asylum seekers for six months.
The country's parliament passed changes
to the Immigration Act to allow groups of
30 or more asylum seekers to be detained
for up to six months.
Under the law, any asylum seeker deemed
to be a refugee will not be eligible for
permanent residency for three years, after
which their status may be reassessed.
New Zealand's immigration minister
Michael Woodhouse says it is only a
matter of time before an asylum seeker
boat arrives in New Zealand.
He says the law will ensure authorities will
be able to effectively deal with any mass
arrival and will send deter people
smugglers from targeting New Zealand.
The opposition New Zealand Labour party
says the government is scaremongering to
distract voters from a string of recent
scandals.
Amnesty International says the law
breaches international human rights and
refugee conventions - a claim the
government denies.