Govt may change immigration settings to take climate change refugees

The Government is considering tweaking immigration settings to take climate change refugees.

It has been a week of relentless diplomacy in New York, with not a lot of sleep. The Prime Minister's spent her days schmoozing and being schmoozed by world leaders, while her nights were spent between juggling bath time for baby Neve and writing speeches.

Many of those focused on climate change, and Jacinda Ardern has revealed to Newshub she isn't ruling out New Zealand taking climate refugees.

"We're looking at creating an immigration plan that looks to the Pacific, and what options there might be within the existing arrangements."

Climate refugees are people displaced from their homes because of the impact of climate change.

The existing refugee quota is being lifted from 1000 to 1500 in 2020, an increase announced recently after public in-fighting between the Government's coalition partners.

"Because we already have a quota scheme, whether or not you could focus them on areas that are climate affected is potentially an option," says Ms Ardern.

New York City doesn't look particularly climate-friendly during leader's week, with monster motorcades ruling the streets. But while in New York the Government announced an extra $25 million a year to combat climate change in the Pacific.

The Prime Minister argues New Zealand needs to help prevent the damage, not be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

But New Zealand risks looking like it's all hat not cattle, talking a big game on a big stage about climate change but failing to take leadership on climate refugees.