The 65 refugees who were on their way to New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef will not be let into the country. The NZ Govt has made it clear that these refugees cannot and will not be able to gain exemption from New Zealand’s strict refugee laws. The refugees made a collective plea to the Government, saying that it was unsafe for them to return home to their countries of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
While the refugees were now being held in a detention centre at Kupang, West Timor, they can not actually claim asylum without being in New Zealand. However they could ask the Australian Government for help. Amnesty Internationals executive director Grant Bayldon has said that it is time that the NZ Govt review their refugee policy, which has not changed in over 30 years. Currently New Zealand has an annual quota of 750 refugees. However the Govt replied saying that the quota is at the right level.