Sign the petition to #LetIoaneStay

To the Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse,

We call on you to intervene in the Immigration case of Ioane Teitiota. We call on you to allow him to stay in New Zealand with his family. Mr Teitiota is blameless in the destruction of his country, and there needs to be a recognition by surrounding countries such as New Zealand that these people need to be offered some sort of asylum or refugee status under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Will you sign?

2,000 signatures

The following campaign is from ActionStation member Susi Newborn. Susi was the Campaign Co-ordinator at Oxfam NZ when she met Ioane. She is a Greenpeace Elder and passionate activist for climate justice.

Last Tuesday, an i-Kiribati man - Ioane Teitiota - was taken into custody on his way to work and is expected to be deported from New Zealand within days. [1]

Mr Teitiota has been making an unsuccessful bid to become the world’s first climate refugee since 2012. His argument is that his family’s health would be at risk if they returned to the low-lying atoll, where 90% of the fresh water is contaminated by E.coli and seawater from rising sea levels. Kiribati has extremely high levels of gastro-intestinal disease and cholera, and children are dying. Mr Teitiota has 3 young children, all born in New Zealand.

Like many I-Kiribati, Teitiota had seen the damage from erosion and flooding that comes when bad weather hits the islands at high tide. He said he had “heard stories” about the threat of climate change, but didn’t really understand “the fuller picture about rising sea levels” until he moved to New Zealand and started watching television programs about it. “It discouraged us from going back.” [2]

Ioane is currently being held in custody awaiting deportation. The Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has said he will not be intervening in the case. A massive outpouring of public support might just change his mind.

In 2012, Mr Teitiota applied to the New Zealand authorities for refugee status, which was rejected. Two appeals, in 2014 and 2015 in the Auckland High Court and the Supreme High Court were also declined.

His lawyer, Michael Kidd, is currently making a bail application in a bid to stay the deportation, and is pursuing an appeal to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations for a breach of Article 3 - the ‘right to life’ - of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A lack of fresh water, there's rising sea levels, a lack of ability to grow crops, danger from storms that are coming through, and frequent flooding is certainly a threat to this right.

Today we have an opportunity to not just help Ioane stay in New Zealand with his family, but to make a stand for our neighbours affected by climate change they did not cause.

Deporting Mr Teitiota and his family to Kiribati will not solve the problem of climate change in the Pacific. The reality is that people from low-lying nations of the Pacific will be seeking refuge in countries like New Zealand and Australia as their islands become totally unlivable because of global warming. New Zealand is opening its doors to refugees from the other side of the world. We need to do more for those from our neighbouring region that are at the front line of the climate war as well.

Sign the petition calling on Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse to intervene in the case and let Ioane and his family stay.


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