New Zealand Labour Party

Government should front for Kiribati deportee

Government Ministers have an obligation to meet the Kiribati-Tuvalu delegation bringing a petition to Parliament today in support of Ioane Teitiota who is facing deportation along with his wife and New Zealand-born children, Labour’s MP for Te Atatū Phil Twyford says.

“This family are devastated at the prospect of being shipped back to Kiribati; a place their kids have never lived and which is sinking below sea level.

“Reverend Sumalie Naisali is bringing a 140-signature petition from a packed public meeting in West Auckland last night asking the Government to let the Teitiotas stay on humanitarian grounds, and asking Ministers to show more leadership in addressing the threat to Kiribati and Tuvalu posed by rising sea levels.

“Pacific members of the National caucus should be listening to their communities. I urge both Alfred Ngaro and Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga to meet with the Reverend today.

“Ioane Teitiota may have failed in his legal bid to be a climate change refugee but his case highlights National’s refusal to seriously address the most important humanitarian and environmental issue facing our region.

“The very least the Government can do is reconsider the Teitiota family’s plight,” Phil Twyford says.