Most of the attention is on John Key over his remarks aimed at Kelvin Davis and Labour foir “backing rapists” – I think thaty was way out of line from key but more on that later – but there’s a number of aspects to this.
The ex criminals, including New Zealand citizens, awaiting deportation who sent to Christmas Island and held their by Australia doesn’t look flash, and it isn’t. Retained without any charges remote from any possible contact with family or lawyers looks crap, and with Australias convict past they should know better and treat people better, regardless of their background.
This was brewing here anyway, but it became much more volatile with the uprising over the last few days.
It’s worth noting this tweet exchange prior to Parliament sitting today.
The twinning erosion of democracy marches on unabated under National, as independent media voices take refuge at RNZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIxSzcoI6Nc …
Kevin Retweeted David Cunliffe
So what will MPS from T opposition do about it ? we have a biased speaker in T house &T opp let him get away with itDavid Cunliffe
@DavidCunliffeMP 10:31 am
David Cunliffe Retweeted ⒶctivistsⒶotearoa
Breach of standing orders to criticise Speaker. Which is why I don’t.
For the first time in17 years I voluntarily left Question Time in protest. Key saying “Labour supports sex offenders” over 501s is outrage
Cunliffe appeared to be one of the first to leave the Chamber.
Prior to this, as John Key was walking to Parliament, Kelvin Davis approached him, got in his face and ‘yelled’ at him according to NZ Herald in John Key accuses Labour of ‘backing rapists’:
Labour MP Kelvin Davis shouted at Mr Key on the way into the House, accusing him of inaction in helping New Zealand detainees in Australia.
“Prime Minister, you’re gutless,” Mr Davis yelled as Mr Key walked past.
That wasn’t a good look from Davis. It can be assumed it was deliberate provocation just prior to Question Time in Parliament.
I don’t know what Davis expects Key or the New Zealand Government to do. The Austrlian Government is doing what it wants to do, and no matter how bad a look there is probably little more New Zealand can do about it.
Under questioning by Labour leader Andrew Little, Mr Key went on a furious offensive.
In an angry attack, he said: “Some of the [detainees] are rapists, some of them are child molesters, and some of them are murderers.
“These are the people that the Labour Party are saying are more important to support than New Zealanders who deserve protecting when they come back here.
“Mr Davis, if you want to put yourself on the side of sex offenders, go ahead my son, but we’ll defend New Zealanders.”
When Mr Little questioned why New Zealand did not demand more action from Australia, Mr Key launched another attack.
“You back the rapists,” the Prime Minister said, before being cut off by the Speaker.
Again, what does Little expect Key or the Government to do? They can’t force Australi into doing things differently. It would be like Samoa or Fiji trying to tell New Zealand what to do.
This all sparked a furore in Parliament and on social media. Labolur’s Chris Hipkins tried to pass a mition of no confidence against the speaker for not insisting that Key withdraw and apologise.
I think an apology would be appriopriate from Key but Hipkins didn’t follow correct procedure and that was rejected.
This is likely to rage for a while. More than a few people would do well to pause and consider the whole situation, and what in practical terms can be done about it here.
Key is probably calculating on public support for not doing more to get ex convicts to New Zealand more quickly. The Government only recently proposed how they would deal with New Zedalanders deported back here.
On 3 News in Distant riot causes unrest at home Patrick Gower caused more unrest at home (at least on Twitter):
The Kiwis are known as ‘501s’ after section 501, the hard-line law forcing them out of Australia because of previous criminal convictions.
Now they are trapped while they are processed.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised the detainees could get out and back to New Zealand “quickly”, though Mr Key today revealed quickly could actually mean weeks.
“What the Labour Party is saying is ‘to hell with the rest of New Zealanders – these people should be put on a commercial aircraft and dispatched to New Zealand’. Well you back the rapists and I’ll back New Zealand,” said Mr Key.
Gower used some fairly strong terms to describe detainees. He gave some details:
Crimes for which New Zealanders are awaiting deportation:
- Child sex offences (including pornography) – 34
- Murder (including manslaughter) – 22
- Rape, sex offences – 16
- Assault (including grievous bodily harm) – 121
- Theft, robbery (including armed), breaking and entering – 83
- Drug offences – 64
The accuracy of these numbers is being disputed on Twitter.
More than a few in New Zealand will be happy to see some of them staying on Christmas Island, something that Key isa probably banking on.
What action, if any, has he taken to follow up on his statement to Malcolm Turnbull regarding New Zealand-born Australian detainees on Christmas Island, “I think, in the spirit of mateship, there should be some compassion shown”?