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Drive to bring refugees to Wairarapa begins

Dennis Bartlett says Wairarapa has enough room for refugees to come and start a new life. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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A committee has been formed to help make Wairarapa a resettlement area for refugees fleeing their countries for a safer, new beginning.

Masterton hosted a ‘Refugees Welcome’ meeting as part of a nationwide tour run by Murdoch Stephens, who is campaigning to double the country’s refugee quota.

About 50 people turned out to the meeting on last Wednesday night, which Dennis Bartlett, the meeting’s MC said was a great turn out.

He got 10 people signed up to form a committee to be the voice for Wairarapa on making it a welcoming refugee area.

“While there’s an election on it makes sense to put some pressure on the powers that be,” Mr Bartlett said.

The people that turned up were enthusiastic about offering the region as a place for refugees to call home.

“One stat is that 49 per cent of people in the country don’t live in an area that there are any refugees.

“Half the country doesn’t even have the opportunity to help refugees, so give us a go, we have plenty of room,” he said.

Auckland is “choka block” with no room for more refugees so rural regions are the answer.

“The issue now to me is to find some housing, and there’s probably more chance to find houses in Wairarapa like on farms,” he said.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson was joined by Labour candidate Kieran McAnulty and Green Party candidate John Hart at Wednesday’s meeting.

“Alastair was invited . . . I asked him if he was prepared to sign the pledge to double the quota but hasn’t answered,” Mr Bartlett said.

In June last year, the government said it would raise New Zealand’s refugee quota to accept up to 1000 a year — the first rise since the quota was set at 750 in 1987.

“Once the election is gone and nothing’s changed, we are not going to go away, it is going to be an issue for whoever is running the country,” Mr Bartlett said.


  1. F*** off theres a housing shortage and you want to being refugees here to take up kore hoems?? What about the people of masterton looking for homes..what abot the people of nz looking for homes??? We need a stand against this it is not right!! New zealanders first!!!!

  2. Help the people who live in NZ first. We have thousands of Kiwis living in poor conditions and below the poverty line. Surely it makes more sense for middle eastern immigrants to be taken into another middle eastern country. UAE, Saudi Arabia for example. I was shocked on my last visit to the UK with the volume of foreign faces everywhere, so take care it doesn’t happen here .

  3. As citizens of Masterton who are finding it very hard to get into a place to live of our own (weather that be rental or to buy); I strongly disagree with the statement that there is plenty of room here in the Wairarapa. As good as it is to help others (I don’t dispute that), but what about those that already surround us and are in need of help?!

  4. Mr Bartlett must be opening the door for them to stay at his place then aye? I have been around here long enough to see the shortage in homes for people already in the Wairarapa – so when he says ‘plenty or room’… where?? He must mean in his backyard because theres no way we should be giving up what little housing there is for us kiwi’s – to refugees!!

  5. Nope this is stupid, look at Europe, we can not allow these people in. Liberals will ruin this country!!!! Say no to refugees!!!!!

    • You are spot on Tim B with your comment.
      People in NZ are becoming clueless with their liberal views.
      Countries need borders and refugee intake must be done with extreme care. Refugees around the world can be given help but they should be placed in a safe zone that a number of countries can help with. There are enough homeless people in NZ already that need help. The refugee crisis in Europe has changed the landscape and culture of many European countries with devastation (Germany and Italy to name just two). As a result these countries are suffering with crime and a huge economic burden for many years to come at the sacrifice of their own people.

    • AYE to that…. the kiwi character of nz is progressively
      getting ruined by too much immigration & refugees.

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