New Zealand: Nauru refugees resettled

Briefing Notes, 10 May 2002

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 10 May 2002, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Yesterday, 59 refugees on Nauru were resettled to New Zealand after their claims were recognized by UNHCR. New Zealand is the first country to agree to take refugees from Nauru. It also accepted 131 Afghan asylum-seekers last September when they first arrived in Nauru on board the Australian naval vessel, the HMAS Manoora. Of those, all but one were subsequently recognized as refugees in New Zealand. Thus, in total, New Zealand has now accepted 189 refugees and asylum-seekers or more than one third of the total from the 529 taken to Nauru by the Australian navy last September. Of these 301 were rescued by the Norwegian cargo vessel, the Tampa, after their boat sank, and the other 228 were taken from the Indonesian vessel, the Aceng, which was subsequently intercepted by the Australian navy.