The Syrian refugee crisis has captured the hearts of people around the world during the past couple of weeks as shocking images of those trying to escape have been published.

It's not a new issue: the conflict in Syria is in its fifth year and the situation seems only to be getting tougher.

Reading the stories of those left without a country or a home are heartbreaking.

It's estimated more than 300,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe since January and about 2500 have died attempting the journey.


I was heartened to read yesterday's announcement that New Zealand will take in 600 extra Syrian refugees over the next three years.

It is expected to cost New Zealand an extra $50 million.

I am more than happy to see the money I pay in taxes go towards getting these people here and helping settle them into our country, and I'm sure many others feel the same way.

If we can spend $26 million on the process to ask Kiwis if they want a new flag, surely we can afford the money to do our part to help end the worst refugee crisis since World War II and potentially save the lives of some of those innocent people caught up in the middle of the conflict.

My initial enthusiasm was dampened somewhat when I read the details of the Government's proposal.

Under the plan, a total of 250 spaces will be offered to Syrian refugees by mid next year and a further 500 will come in by mid-2018.

Surely we can move faster. We need to move faster.

These people need help now. In the past two months, more than 500,000 refugees have had their food assistance dramatically reduced or cut altogether, putting unsustainable financial pressure on families.


Who knows how many of them will survive that long?

Surely, something can be done to reduce the bureaucracy and help these people now.