Green Party co-leader James Shaw objects to the Government’s decision to put $25 million into stopping boat people reaching New Zealand.
Budget 2019, unveiled today, includes $23.6 million in operating costs as well as $1.4 million in capital expenditure to boost New Zealand’s capability to stop boat people.
Budget documents show that it is for “maritime mass arrival prevention” through regional co-operation, intelligence and training additional staff.
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the funding was justified because there was a credible threat of people-smugglers targeting New Zealand, even though no boat people had ever successfully made the journey.
“We don’t think there’s any great risk of mass arrivals in New Zealand and we’ve communicated that to the Minister,” Shaw said.
“We think that money would be better spent elsewhere.”