| Latest Political News | Monday February 11 2013 8:21
John Key is expected to take some heat over his agreement with Julia Gillard for New Zealand to take on 150 of Australia's boat people every year.
Political reporter Katie Bradford-Crozier says Australian journalists in Queenstown were very interested in why New Zealand would agree to the plan.
She says the Prime Minister responded that if New Zealand ever has a mass arrival, the agreement means we'll now be able to send them to Australia's processing centres.
"He's saying look if that happens Australia will be be able to help us out should we get into trouble and they keep a very close eye on our waters so we need their help."
Katie Bradford-Crozier says John Key is very relaxed about the agreement.
John Key says it was his idea and it makes sense, since Australia has already done the background work on those needing resettlement.
He says as well as that, we're helping out our mates at no cost to us, and without increasing our refugee quota of 750.
Australian intervention to prevent boat people coming to New Zealand appears to have been a recent development.
Following this weekend's refugee deal with Australia, John Key revealed Australia has stepped in previously to stop boat people coming to this country.
Labour Party Foreign Affairs spokesman Phil Goff indicates such an incident never happened between 1999 and 2008.
"I can't recall anytime where the Australians intervened to stop a boat coming to New Zealand. There were on odd occasions claims that boat people were wanting to head for New Zealand."
Mr Goff says we should be reluctant to shift from the current United Nations mandated procedure, where genuine refugees are treated as priority cases.
"The only argument in favour of taking the 150 from Australia is to be helpful to the Australians. I don't think that outweighs the obligations and the advantages of working through the official UN channels."
Migrants to New Zealand are criticising the Government's decision.
Labour wants to see evidence of the Prime Minister's claim about boat people and the threat they pose to this country
In explaining why he's struck a refugee deal with Australia, John Key says he's seen plenty of evidence that Australia has acted to stop boat people from coming to New Zealand.
Labour Leader David Shearer says he's like to see the evidence.
"Where is it that these boats were going to come from, how many of them are there?
"What's the problem about releasing that sort of information so we all have an idea of how imminent the possibility is of people coming to New Zealand?"
Ishanka Peiris, who's come to New Zealand from Sri Lanka, says there's a right way to get into the country.
"There's a straightforward way to come here. If you have everything you want, just follow that. If you don't have it, if you have only money, then they are trying to do the boat people way, so I don't think it's a very good idea."
The 150 will be included in the 750 refugees New Zealand accepts every year.
Refugee Council of New Zealand spokesman Gary Poole says that's a bad move.
"He should have made that in addition to our existing quota from the UN which includes women and children in high protection cases, not displace those people within the existing quota."
Gary Poole says the Government needs to enter talks with Indonesia and Malaysia on a regional solution for asylum seekers.
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