"The tough new immigration measures to prepare for boat people are a desperate attempt to distract the public from the Government's current woes," Green Party immigration spokesperson Jan Logie said today.
The Government itself states there is no intelligence at the moment that would suggest a group of boat people is on its way to New Zealand. There has never been a landing of illegal immigrants in New Zealand by boat, with the journey considered too dangerous for people-smuggling operations to attempt.
"The Government is exaggerating the risk of mass invasion by boat people," said Ms Logie.
"New Zealand's strong reputation as a good global citizen could be put into question by this action.
"Proposed legislative changes could violate international discrimination principles according to the regional representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
"John Key's administration is on the back foot over so many issues that they are now looking for public distractions and scapegoats.
"John Howard's troubled administration exploited refugees for maximum electoral advantage in Australia," said Ms Logie.
"John Key's Government appear to be taking tips straight out of Mr Howard's playbook.
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