Kiwi politician blasts Australia over asylum seekers treatment, urges NZ to step in

by Sol Dolor15 Aug 2016
New Zealand opposition foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer believes it’s time for New Zealand to step in to hasten the end of immigration detention on Nauru and Manus Island.
Last week, The Guardian published more than 2,000 reports detailing alleged assault, sexual abuse, self-harm and unfit living conditions on Australia’s offshore detention island.
Many of these alleged abuses are against children.
Shearer, a former Labour leader and United Nations humanitarian worker, told the Sunday TVNZ Q&A program that the reports have “shocked us all”.
“[The reports] highlighted the fact that this policy is unsustainable, I mean it’s almost like Australia has lost its moral compass in terms of where it’s going,” he said, according to Echo.
“I really do think New Zealand, however it can, should make the offer to say `look, what is it we can do to short-circuit this and bring these kids’ [detention] to an end’.”
He also noted that if the New Zealand government is to be involved, it should be with the understanding that they are working with the Australian government to close the detention islands.
Shearer’s remarks come after Britain’s Liberal Democrats party leader Tim Farron urged Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to start a dialogue with Australa’s high commissioner on immigration policies.
Australian Opposition leader Bill Shorten is preparing to campaign for a Senate inquiry on Nauru.