It's been a very interesting week for John Key and the National Party.

I think the party's strategists thought their centre-right voter base would support them when it came to the refugee crisis. But as more and more horrific images have been beamed around the world, it's become clear that an increasing number of New Zealanders feel we should be doing more.

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The images are horrendous. Dead Syrian children washing up on European beaches. Distraught mothers holding their babies and looking through razor wire. People dying, suffocating in trucks trying to flee their desperate and dead-end situations.

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The situation has deteriorated and rapidly. It is nothing, if not emotive.

National's tough talk at the start of the week has softened in the last 24 hours. And so it should. The government spent a small fortune of taxpayer dollars securing a seat on the UN Security Council, and then, when faced with our first big decision, the government looked at this issue from a populist domestic perspective.

A Turkish police officer stands next to the body of Aylan Kurdi. Photo / AP
A Turkish police officer stands next to the body of Aylan Kurdi. Photo / AP

That's where the government got it wrong. It's a global issue. It requires a global response.

So now the Prime Minister is beginning to move. He says he's not ruling out looking at whether we could do more. That's a signal that he's shifting on this. But like all things political, he can't move too quickly - it has to appear that it's the government's decision and that he's not simply appeasing the public or, god forbid, the opposition.

Galip and Aylan Kurdi, right, came from the Syrian city of Kobane. They both drowned while trying to reach Greece. Photo / AP
Galip and Aylan Kurdi, right, came from the Syrian city of Kobane. They both drowned while trying to reach Greece. Photo / AP

Will he lift the quota soon? No, I don't think he will. He may bring forward a review of the quota, and raise it next year - but I don't think he will do it now. But he does have to respond to what we're seeing in Europe. It could be that he allows a small emergency intake. 100 or 200 people, perhaps. And that will take the pressure off the government for the moment, and appease the growing chorus of critics.

Tima Kurdi, touches a photo of her nephews Alan and Galib Kurdi while speaking to the media outside her home. Photo / AP
Tima Kurdi, touches a photo of her nephews Alan and Galib Kurdi while speaking to the media outside her home. Photo / AP

Doing nothing is not an option. Will it change the situation in the Middle East? No. Of course not. The problem is huge. But there can be no defence for doing nothing.

National will have been polling behind the scenes on this issue, and I think we can read between the lines as to what the results of that poll were - when faced with the biggest humanitarian crisis on the planet today, our government got it very, very wrong.

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