Australia Saves Ansett New Zealand
Following the collapse of Ansett the Australian government has put together a rescue package not only for the troubled airline, but also for New Zealand.
The Prime Minister described this as a win-win situation. "This is a win for the airline industry, for employees and for Australia," Howard said.
There is however an ulterior motive for the government largesse, it is desperately looking for a way of dealing with the boat people crisis
"It is obvious that that Opposition led by Kim Beazley, are hampering our attempts to deal with boat people. Misguided humanitarian lawyers are also thwarting the us from carrying out the will of the people," Howard continued. "We cannot afford to keep sending these refugees to Nauru and it is important to have them processed closer to Australia. For this reason we have decided to purchase the whole of New Zealand."
The Prime Minister believes it was imperative to act now. "We cannot have the navy involved in this any longer," said the Prime Minister. "It is a waste of our armed forces that may be needed if America calls on us for help. We have to free up HMAS Manoora and all other military resources, so they can be at the disposal of the Americans."
Although details are unclear, New Zealand is going to become the main Australian refugee processing centre. However a spokesperson for the government was adamant that New Zealand would not be part of the Australian migration zone.
"Like Norfolk Island, New Zealand would continue to have a migration regime of its own and refugees would still have to arrive on the mainland before coming under Australian law," a spokesperson said. "The flood of boat people can only increase if America launches a military response to the recent terrorist attack. New Zealand is far better suited to handle the influx of refugees that is just over the horizon."
The Australian government believe it is better to give $20 million to New Zealand rather then some tiny third world island in the middle of nowhere.
"Yes the cash will be going to a third world country, but it would be a third world country with a history of democratic government," said a spokesperson.
The influx of refugees into New Zealand will lead to an employment boom. Housing, agriculture, teaching and even hospitals will all have to be upgraded to deal with the thousands of refugees expected.
Prime Minister Howard maintained that no refugee would set foot on Australian soil. "They will be processed quicker but with the demise of Ansett it will be a lot more difficult for them to get to mainland Australia."
The government defended it decision to buy New Zealand saying that in the present economic climate real estate was performing better than the stock market.
"It is far better to promote New Zealand as more appealing to refugees. We are not trying to keep them out of Australia. We just want to delay them getting here by about two years."
When asked how this would help Ansett the Prime Minister said. "With the help of Christian charities, we will be using Ansett to fly refugees to New Zealand. Christian missionaries will be able to reach out to these people in safety."
The UN has promised millions of dollars worth of aid, confident that New Zealand would still have the infrastructure and ability to distribute it.
Howard also played down any concerns of an electoral backlash. "Australians are used to New Zealanders jumping the queue and taking benefits from real Australians, so it unlikely to be an election issue."
The government refused to confirm whether the New Zealand Prime Minister had been guaranteed leadership of the ACTU.