Monday, 21 March 2016

Abbas Nazari, a former refugee visits us

Abbas Nazari Visits

On the 1st of March, Abbas Nazari came and told us about his experience traveling from Afghanistan to New Zealand. Abbas is one of the famous Tampa refugees. His story was inspiring, and gave us an insight into what it was like to be a refugee trying to find a safe place to call home.
Abbas was 7 years old when he had to move from Afghanistan because the Taliban were at the height of their power. His tribe, the Hazari,  was seen as a fungus. In the cover of night he travelled to Pakistan in the back of a petrol tanker! He stayed here for 3 months until his family moved to Indonesia where he stayed for two months. Then one night his mum woke him up and said “We're going!” They boarded a creaky old boat with 438 people on it setting sail to Australia.
Here are the refugees climbing a rope ladder up twelve stories to get onto
the Tampa. 
On the second day, the engine failed and then a big storm came; everyone thought they would die. Once the storm had passed, a Norwegian cargo ship heading for Singapore took in the refugees. When The Tampa was about to enter Christmas Island, an Australian Navy boat stopped them from coming into the island. Then the Navy took in the refugees on the boat and looked after them for a while on an island called Nauru. One day the captain came in and said New Zealand were willing to take all the families. The refugees thought, “What is a New Zealand?”
The refugees spent some time in Mangere at the Refugee Centre and then Abbas and his family, plus some of the other families came to live in Christchurch.

To this day, Abbas is living in Christchurch with his family. There have been no refugees resettled in Christchurch since the earthquakes in 2010.

New Zealand has a very low refugee quota of only 750 per year or up to 1200 with emergency asylym seekers. Abbas says refugees here are treated very, very well so that's good but do you think we should raise the refugee quota? Please leave us a comment and justify your answer. Thank you!


  1. I think NZ has a responsibility to increase its quota. It is is the right thing to do. We have a wonderful quality of life in NZ and we therefore need to welcome others to our country.

  2. I think that we should raise the refugee quote because we should be able to make New Zealand available to more people. We have a beautiful country and we should share it with people who are less fortunate than ourselves. It is always inspiring to learn from others - and I think a refugee would be able to share their experiences and make us better people. Thats a fantastic discussion point and a great post. I really enjoyed reading it.
    Mr Webb and Room Three, Auroa Primary School, Taranaki, New Zealand

    1. Hi, I am Julia from 8CS.
      Thank You for sharing your opinions. I think the same thing, the refugee's could teach us a lot.

  3. The benefits of raising the refugee level outweigh the negatives. In allowing more refugees NZ would be more diverse and would give more opportunities for children to share their culture when growing up. Would also give opportunities to learn from each other. Everyone I have meet from there has been welcoming. One day I would love to visit NZ for myself and see the beautiful country that I have only heard so much about.

  4. After living outside of New Zealand for so Long I have come to learn firsthand about people less fortunate than myself - I believe we should raise the quota for refugees to New Zealand. New Zealand is such a warm and welcoming environment and if controlled and managed on the right way it should have no negative impact on those already living in New Zealand, while benefitting refugees greatly. There skills and experiences should be used to make New Zealand an even better place to live that promotes and supports international diversity.
    Thanks for such a great blog post
    Mr Kemp in Singapore

  5. As a citizen of the United States, I don't want to speak for New Zealand or pretend to know what is best for you. I do think we should actively become involved in the process of healing the middle east. I would suspect that most of the refugees that have left their countries would really have preferred to stay but circumstances beyond their control would not allow it.

    My school is full of refugees, both economic and political and I am grateful for the diversity and for the willingness of the people of the United States to take them in. I just wish they didn't need to leave their own countries for safety or to improve their lives.

    Mr. C

  6. I believe that if NZ can cope with finding the refugees jobs and if they have the capacity to help the refugees deal with any health or other issues from their past (as it must be a huge mental hurdle to overcome, both war and having to flee) then we should make place for them.

  7. It is interesting that Abbas noted how well treated refugees are here. I think NZ should increase the quota as they change the infra-structure to continue to offer great support to new citizens. Simply increasing the number isn't a solution. It must be so hard to leave your homeland for reasons beyond your control and the journey is potentially very hard - so on arrival everything needs to be as easy as possible.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this post of Abbas' life. It is a remarkable one. I can't imagine what he and his family went through. Blogging is an excellent way to share world stories and discuss solutions.

    Like Mr. Chamberlain, I am an American citizen and don't know what would be best for New Zealand. That is a discussion for New Zealanders. Gathering the facts and hearing these types of stories help inform the citizenry and that is the first step.


Thanks so much for your comment. We love hearing from you!