the Zine page for current issue of news and articles concerning New Zealand life and culture in 1996 NZine became New Zealands first interactive online magazine showing NZ to the world warts and all New Zealand Regional Information and Links to New Zealand Resources contact the publishers and editorship of NZine
clickable listings of previously issued NZine articles - over 1000 still of interest Add your comment to the NZine guestbook - also join and use forums for more interaction
 
Search Articles  

  
                    < Back

Tampa boys well anchored in New Zealand

Charlotte Lobo - 07/10/05

Pacific Solution: From Afghanistan to Aotearoa - a documentary touching upon the challenges faced by the Tampa refugees who sailed ashore with literally no place to call home but New Zealand ....

Pacific Solution: From Afghanistan to Aotearoa, a thought provoking documentary screened as part of the DOCNZ International Documentary Film Festival hosted at the Academy Cinema, Auckland on September 21, 2005 was a window to reality.

Centered on what is conveniently nullified by political tussles, social apathy and cultural bigotry, the documentary touches upon the challenges faced by the Tampa refugees who sailed ashore with literally no place to call home but New Zealand.

Producer Annie Goldson explains her motivation for creating the documentary, “I thought the Tampa story was so bound up in many world issues such as the broken history of Afghanistan, the Taliban and the World Trade Centre that it was a very topical issue to make a documentary about”.


Man walking across war-torn area in Afghanistan
Man walking across war-torn area in Afghanistan
Photo Source: James Frankham, director. Pacific Solution.
Click here to view a larger version

Of the 438 refugees rescued at sea by Norwegian freighter, MV Tampa, off the Australian coast in August 2001, 133 are a part and parcel of New Zealand today.

New Zealand's attitude to refugees
Humanitarianism is woven into the fabric of New Zealand. Some acknowledge it: others ignore it. But nothing changes the ‘truth’. The Afghans who were left in the middle of nowhere by the Howard government, were welcomed aboard the land of the long white cloud in 2001.

“New Zealand is one of only 16 countries worldwide that take a guaranteed quota of refugees annually. This is part of New Zealand being a good international citizen,” says the Auckland regional coordinator for RMS Refugee Resettlement, Jill Conway.

RMS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization concerned with refugee resettlement in New Zealand on three basic levels, namely, service provision, public education and refugee policy. This organization draws on the strengths of refugees and helps them build a future in the country. RMS works with the 750 refugees accepted by New Zealand each year through their Refugee Quota programme.

Ms Goldson’s documentary takes the viewer down a road less travelled, tracing the footsteps of the Tampa boys, from the persecution of the Taliban to their kiwi haven and the quest of their families to join them.


The Rahimi family with James Frankham, Director
The Rahimi family with James Frankham, Director
Photo Source: James Frankham, director. Pacific Solution.
Click here to view a larger version

Indifference towards refugees, stereotypical views about refugee resettlement in New Zealand and misconceptions about refugees being a cost rather than a benefit are not uncommon.

However, Ms Conway says refugees and their families add a significant social and economical value to our country.

“They are certainly not a drain on the economy. The Tampa Boys are a proof of this. They have brought a unique perspective to New Zealand through their own culture and traditions. Take the example of Tampa refugee Abdulqayun Salimi, who arrived four years ago with his wife, child and little else. Today this young Afghan is a successful tiler in Christchurch,” says Ms Conway.

The documentary based on a real life scenario created a platform for empathy and cultural open-mindedness.

Forum

Participate or View Thread



 
Home       NZ Map       Contact       Recent Articles       Your Views      

Copyright 1996 - 2005 NZine - A Quality Service from Plain Communications LTD