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NZ: Would-be ‘climate refugee’ gets Wellington boot

November 27, 2013

A Kiribati man’s bid to become the world’s first climate change refugee in New Zealand has been rejected for a third time.

Ioane Teitiota, 37, moved to New Zealand with his wife in 2007 after deciding their life on the low-lying Kiribati island Tarawa was no longer sustainable due to rising seas.

Mr Teitiota, who has been living with his wife and three children illegally in New Zealand, had his original application for refugee status denied by a refugee and protection officer.

Following this he appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal – which upheld the decision to deny him refugee status.

A High Court decision, released yesterday, on a further appeal by Mr Teitiota, denied him leave to seek an appeal against the tribunal’s decision.

Nice try, Ioane, but no cigar.

So the next time someone tries to tell you about fifty million climate refugees, you can still respond with confidence: “Name one.”

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