The Labour Government has known of the escalating situation in Afghanistan for months. They have known about the impending danger for those who aided New Zealand despite the risk to their own safety, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.
“Just last month Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi refused help to a group of 38 Afghans who worked for our Defence Force. These people are now being hunted by the Taliban for aiding Western troops and highly likely will face violence or death.
“While our Five Eyes partners mobilised over the weekend, the Labour Government all but said, ‘we will get to it on Monday.’ The Taliban wasn’t willing to wait for business hours.
“The callousness of Jacinda Ardern’s Government is astounding and it is evident that they were happy to sit back and do nothing until National and New Zealanders turned the heat up on them.
“Thanks to Labour, New Zealand is gaining a reputation internationally as being isolationist and shirking humanitarian obligations. We saw it when New Zealanders had to seek help from the Australian Embassy in China at the beginning of the pandemic too.
“It seems everyone in New Zealand wants to urgently help these poor people who supported our troops except Jacinda Ardern and her Government who have resisted and dragged their feet the whole way.
“The Government must act with urgency, now. It may already be too late, but the apathetic snail’s pace they have operated at thus far is unacceptable when the costs are so high.
“For a Prime Minister who has built a brand of ‘kindness’, this is staggeringly cruel. Either Labour is unkind or tragically incompetent across foreign policy, defence, and immigration.”
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