What Is #WagePeaceNZ?
For those of us who are lucky enough to live far from war, there is a constructive, humane alternative to military involvement in distant conflicts. It’s direct, it’s local, it can make a huge difference in individual lives. Build more support for New Zealand’s refugees and #WagePeace instead.
#WagePeace has been created as an umbrella awareness and advocacy voice for refugee and asylum seeker issues in New Zealand and the region. Hopefully, the name and intent will spread much further afield.
Our Current Focus: Welcome #500Now
New Zealand’s annual refugee quota had been stalled for almost three decades. Indeed, even though our population has flourished by almost 40% in that time, our annual in-take of refugees has decreased. As we’ve grown as a nation, our commitment to refugees has shrunk. After almost three decades, New Zealand ranks at a disappointing 95th in the world for the number of refugees and asylum seekers we host.
We can do more. For a start, ask our politicians on both sides of the aisle to welcome 500 more refugees now, for a start. The three-yearly review won’t come up again for another several years. Even if we double our tiny in-take, that would only bring us back to what we used to do per capita three decades ago. Check out our campaign here.
Speak Out Against Refugee Detention
#WagePeaceNZ is also squarely focused on the potential regional contagion of Australia’s disastrous refugee detention prisons. Help us raise awareness of Australia’s human rights abuses in our own back yard, ones that sadly, even incorporate children. Educate our leaders; Australia’s inhumane policies are not welcome in New Zealand, nor should they be allowed to contaminate the Pacific region.
#WagePeace hopes to bring a clear voice to these issues and new ones that arise. Education, advocacy and awareness. Join us. Have your say. Then roll up your sleeves.
How Can I Help?
Simple gestures are a great start. Follow us on Facebook, where we’ll try to keep you updated on news, events and interesting thought pieces we come across. We’re also on Twitter. Share our posts with friends now and again.
Finally, if you have talents and interests that might generate new ideas on how to educate others about the issues at hand, let us know. #WagePeace isn’t yet an organisation, or a registered non-profit. Indeed, right now it’s just one idea: there is a constructive alternative to military intervention that better contributes to our global standing, one that suits a country the size of New Zealand perfectly: do more to support refugees and asylum seekers fleeing from the wars others construct–and wage peace.
Let’s get this conversation started.
Site creator, Tracey Barnett, is a columnist and political commentator. She is the author of The Quiet War on Asylum (published by BWB Books) and has also launched the asylum seekers awareness campaign, WeAreBetterThanThat and most recently Welcome #500Now, a call for MP’s to publicly commit to taking 500 more refugees if elected this September.