Murdoch Stephens started the ‘Doing Our Bit’ campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota in June 2013. In this lecture hosted by the Public Policy Institute, he discusses the issue of refugees, resettlement, and campaigning, looking at the projection of refugees as a ‘burden without end’ on the hosting country, untangling some of the psychological determinants that will always see refugees as a cost. Through an examination of the democratic institutions relevant to campaigns for social change, he provides a potted history of his campaign’s move from the radical fringes to a mainstream position where it has been embraced by a wide array of individuals and institutions. Stephens questions whether those who oppose increasing the quota do so in opposition to the principle of doing our fair share, or whether there are issues of capacity that require innovative thinking and solutions, and where, in the current context, might those solutions come from.

Murdoch Stephens (Massey University) has written on refugee issues for Fair Borders? (edited by David Hall, Bridget Williams Books) and Forced Migration Review.


Associate Professor Louise Humpage (Sociology, University of Auckland). Her research focuses on refugee policy and settlement, and citizenship and national identity.

Associate Professor Jay Marlowe (Social Work Department, University of Auckland). His research engages with refugee settlement and social inclusion.

Dr Anna Hood (Faculty of Law, University of Auckland). She teaches in the area of immigration and refugee law and researches international law and security.




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Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this panel discussion reflect the views of the guests and not necessarily the views of The Big Q.