transplanted top 2
16th May 2016

In May McMillan&Co. sponsored an evening at the Community Gallery for clients and colleagues to view “TRANSPLANTED”, a “Human Library” exhibition of breathtakingly beautiful photos by Alistair Guthrie of refugees to NZ who have gone on to reinvent their lives.  The curator of the exhibition, the amazing Tracey Barnett, told the inspirational stories of many of those photographed, and talked about the importance of breaking down New Zealanders preconceptions of refugees, their lives, and what they can offer NZ. Tracey and Alistair hope that the exhibition highlights the ongoing refugee crisis across the globe.

NZ has a historically modest refugee quota - only 750 refugees per year - a number that is exceeded even by some states which  have refugees leave their country. The Labour government has pledged to double that number by 2020. We have written to the National government urging action before then:

From:   Sally McMillan
Sent:    Tuesday, 24 May 2015 4:16 PM
Subject:  Refugee quota

Dear Ministers

As a lawyer who has been impressed and humbled by the positive contribution that my many immigrant clients have made to New Zealand, I would like to urge you to consider raising the refugee quota urgently. New Zealand ranks poorly in the world for the total number of refugees we host (94th in the world), with the quota not having been increased for almost 30 years. Surely, we can do more. Our geography gives us the luxury to be able to choose to do so much more; our privileged position as a first world country morally obliges us to do so.

Please consider urgently doubling our refugee quota and matching that with doubling our refugee support to strengthen the sector and resettlement outcomes long-term.

And while I have your attention, can I also observe that in years to come it will be New Zealand’s shame that we have said nothing to our Australian neighbours about their inhumane offshore refugee prisons on Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island. Not only should New Zealand condemn them for these practices, but we should say publicly that this country will have no part in this unconscionable refugee detention policy. As our elected representatives, please step up to the international mark and tell the Australian government what New Zealanders think of their appalling human rights record in the treatment of refugees.


Sally McMillan

McMillan&Co. Lawyers|T +64 3 477 2238 |F +64 3 474 5588
Level 2, 115 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand; PO Box 5547, Dunedin 9058, New Zealand |     

And received this reply:



McMillan&Co. has a significant immigration practice, through which we work to improve the lives of migrants to NZ. In 2016 we have donated time and money to a number of refugee causes in Dunedin, including a financial donation to the Dunedin Refugee Resettlement fund of money raised at firm mufti-days, and a donation to the Transplanted Give A Little page: