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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: University of Canterbury

Award-winning author Behrouz Boochani has been granted refugee status by Immigration New Zealand and is to become a Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Canterbury.

Behrouz Boochani, who spent six years detained by Australian authorities on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, has been recognised by Immigration New Zealand as a refugee under the United Nation’s Convention on Refugee Status.

Boochani says the decision has provided him with a sense of security.

“I now have certainty about my future, which is good. But I cannot fully enjoy this or celebrate while the Australian Government is still unfairly detaining people in Port Moresby, Nauru and Australia.”

He says he will be applying for permanent residency in New Zealand.

“Over the last eight months I have discovered that, on the whole, New Zealanders do not tolerate hate speech. Being here will enable me to keep standing up and campaigning for better treatment of those who are still being illegally detained by Australia.”

“As an indigenous Kurd I would particularly like to acknowledge Ngāi Tahu for the care and hospitality they have provided me. I look forward to furthering my relationship with Ngāi Tahu in my role as a Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at UC’s Ngāi Tahu Research Centre.”

Professor Ian Wright,  UC Tumu Tuarua Rangahau | Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) says: “I’m pleased to announce the University of Canterbury has offered the author and academic Behrouz Boochani the role of Senior Adjunct Research Fellow, based at the Kā Waimaero, the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre.”

Upoko Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Tahu Research Centre Director Associate Professor Te Maire Tau says he is pleased with the outcome of the immigration process and proud to be hosting Behrouz Boochani.

“As the local iwi, Ngāi Tahu is laying a protective cloak over Behrouz Boochani – tākaitia ki te korowai aroha.

“The University of Canterbury has a history of supporting refugees going back as far as the 1930s, when Karl Popper the philosopher arrived as a Jewish refugee from Austria. While at the University, he published the book ‘Open Society and its Enemies’, an extremely important and influential work,” Associate Professor Tau says.

“Kā Waimaero, the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, is supporting Boochani just as the University once supported Karl Popper.”

Boochani has been recognised as a refugee under the UN Convention on Refugee Status and is able to remain living in Aotearoa New Zealand, and to apply for and be granted a permanent residence visa.