Welcome #500Now

Would you reach out to welcome #500 more refugees?


Why 500, Why Now?
Today New Zealand ranks 95th worst in the world per capita for the total number of refugees and asylum seekers we host. It’s even less impressive if you look at our relative wealth.  We rank 121st in the world when measured by our GDP. New Zealand reviews its refugee in-take every three years.  Next year, our quota will be 1000, despite the world experiencing greater refugee numbers than after World War II.

Four former Prime Ministers have come together across party lines and joined this call as a humanitarian imperative: Helen Clark, Jim Bolger, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Mike More.

Today, 51% of all refugees are children. Compassion can’t wait. New Zealand has taken emergency in-takes before. Polish children, Vietnamese, and The Tampa refugees are now established, thriving Kiwi citizens. Welcoming 500 more refugees is just a beginning. We can do it again.

Four ex-Prime Ministers call on NZ to take in more refugees  Newstalk ZB 

(Tracey Barnett interview with Duncan Garner)
Click on each for interviews below:





How Can You Help?

Want to accomplish some tangible good this election?  We are putting out a humanitarian call to ask all candidates to state publicly they would welcome 500 more refugees if elected this September. How can you join us to ‘Welcome #500Now’?

1. Start by putting a sign outside your church, work or home:

Feel free to print small copies of the sign for inside windows. If you can go large, the sign artwork is available by contacting  tracey.barnett@xtra.co.nz . Your local printer should be able to do it on weatherproof stock  (1400 wide x 2000 tall). If you would prefer a horizontal banner size instead (3000w x 1400tall), happy to forward that art too.



2. Get Musical

Here’s a fun idea for some musical folks as individuals, or your choir as a whole, to help us spread the word for the ‘Welcome #500Now’ refugee initiative. Have someone use their phone to video your choir or individuals singing the chorus of this old Peter, Paul and Mary rendition of ‘500 Miles’. It certainly doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect in any respect.
Request an audio sample of the song: tracey.barnett@xtra.co.nz
Here is music if needed:

500 Now – Full Score

To the tune of ‘500 Miles—starting from the chorus. Here’s what you would sing—indeed it’s very short:

500 Now.
500 Now.
Please welcome 500 now.
Ask your MP will they do
something more
500 Now.
500 Now.
Please welcome 500 now.
Can’t we do some more for 
those who run from war?
Then, have everyone in the group hold up their hand with the words #500Now written on their open palm to camera (whiteboard markers work beautifully!) as they say loudly and with passion, ‘Welcome 500 more refugees now, New Zealand!’ (Laughter is always welcome at the end– or high fives with their hands—whatever you wish). Do print out our logo—and to hold up in your photos and video as well, if you can.


Ask everyone to post the video and their photos of the group (or themselves) with their hand outstretched on their personal social media pages with the hash tag #500Now.

Then SEND ME A COPY OF YOUR VIDEO AND I WILL POST on our Facebook page at WagePeaceNZ.
Send your video to:
Our Facebook page is WagePeaceNZ: https://www.facebook.com/wagepeacenz/
(Kindly like our page too, thanks!)


3. Email MPs and Party Leaders 

Send your #500Now hand photos or video copies of the song to any MP or party leader of your choice.  Just email your photo and just a sentence or two why NZ should Welcome #500Now to: (your MP) firstname.lastname@parliament.govt.nz and any party leader of your choice, i.e. b.english@ministers.govt.nzm.woodhouse@ministers.govt.nzg.brownlee@ministers.govt.nz  


4. Say something at the next candidate forum you attend.

When you find yourself at a campaign event this election season, do stand up to ask our MPs this simple question:

‘If elected, will you publicly commit to taking 500 more refugees now?’

Let them know that compassion gets your vote.


Refugees enrich New Zealand.





Thank you! Your support is invaluable to getting this message out there.