Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy wants New Zealand to take more refugees.
She made the call on The Nation on Race Relations Day today ahead of speaking at an event hosted by the Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae attended by refugees and members of migrant communities.
- FULL INTERVIEW: Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy
Each year New Zealand accepts 750 refugees as part of an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
"New Zealand can and should do a lot better than we do," Dame Susan said.
"We have the capacity to accept more people into our country and refugees want a handup, not a handout," she said.
She said Australia accepted more refugees per capita than New Zealand did.
She declined to say how many refugees New Zealand should accept.
"I have no idea about what is exactly the right number," she said. People had talked about accepting 1000 refugees a year for a while and this would be "a start", she said.
She had met many refugees who just wanted to contribute to New Zealand.
She was open to New Zealand taking a one-off group of refugees.
"We could do that too because we did that 70 years ago, you know, with the Polish refugees."
New Zealand welcomed 733 Polish children displaced by war in 1944 and they celebrated a poignant 70th anniversary at events held in 2014.
source: newshub archive