Wellington: A top New Zealand official on Tuesday suggested that New Zealand only accept women and children as refugees and send the men back to fight against the Islamic State (IS) terror group.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said if immigration numbers were tightened, the country could accept more refugees, Radio New Zealand reported.
“And if we’re going to do it, let’s bring the women and children and tell some of the men to go back and fight for their own country’s freedom, like we are,” he said.
On Monday, the government said it will take in an additional 600 Syrians in the next two-and-a-half years, at a cost of nearly 49 million New Zealand dollars (US$30 million).
Prime Minister John Key said the emergency intake would stretch the country’s refugee services.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said he was confident the refugee resettlement services would be able to cope with the extra intake.