At least three boatloads of nonwhite invaders pretending to be “asylum seekers” have been intercepted while heading to New Zealand, seeking to exploit that country’s offer to take illegal invaders from Australia’s Manus Island detention center, it has emerged.
According to local New Zealand media, the Labour-led Government’s o”ffer to take 150 asylum seekers is being blamed for an escalation in people-smuggling operations with New Zealand being marketed as a ‘back door’ into Australia.”
According to the report, the latest Manus Island resettlement offer has sparked an increase in “chatter” in recent months with New Zealand mentioned as the final destination.
Last month an Australian naval patrol intercepted a boatload of 29 Sri Lankans off the coast of Western Australia. Those on board told Australian authorities they were bound for New Zealand.
Sri Lankan authorities disrupted two people-smuggling ventures in their waters late last year in which the invaders were also headed for New Zealand.
The report said that there was evidence the recent spike in people-smuggling activity marketing New Zealand had followed the Ardern government’s offer to take rejected—and obviously bogus—“asylum-seekers” from the Australian offshore detention centres.
A source within the new Department of Home Affairs said there had been recent “high level” chatter from countries such as Sri Lanka and Indonesia in which New Zealand was being pushed as a destination for asylum-seekers.
“It confirms what our intelligence has been telling us: people-smuggling syndicates remain active in our region and continue to market their services using false promises of settlement in Australia or New Zealand,” said the source.
“Whether or not people-smugglers genuinely intend for their boats to reach New Zealand, it is clear that they are using publicity around New Zealand’s resettlement offer to market their services to vulnerable people in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.”
Last year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern criticised Australia’s offshore processing policy and offered to take 150 men from Manus Island.
Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said that his government had rejected the New Zealand resettlement offer saying it would create “pull” factors for the invaders.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s official opposition New Zealand National Party (“National”) warned that the “Prime Minister’s ill-advised interference in Australia’s handling of illegal asylum seekers” would lead to a “spike in such activity.”
National Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said that the “Prime Minister has repeatedly criticised the Australian Government for the way it handles people trying to reach Australia illegally, and advocated for those asylum seekers to be resettled in New Zealand.
“While this is a long-standing offer, the Prime Minister’s grandstanding not only affected our relationship with our closest ally, but has also reportedly led to more attempts by asylum seekers to reach Australia, and also to target New Zealand,” Brownlee said.
“Her insistence that Australia allow New Zealand to handpick 150 asylum seekers who meet UN refugee status, while Australia handles the rest, on top of the message this sends to human traffickers and those desperate to attempt to reach Australia, shows a disregard to the complexity of the problem.
“New Zealand should be supporting efforts to help curb such dangerous attempts, not helping to promote them and the Prime Minister needs to be more aware of that.”