Simon Bridges whistles Australian deporting but laws already allow it

Another policy announcement by Simon Bridges, deporting Australian criminals that may not do much more than raise the level dog whistling. National to look at reciprocal deportation law

Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says a National Government will look at amending the law to allow Australians convicted of serious crimes in New Zealand to be deported.

If elected, National will explore a policy based on amendments to Australia’s Migration Act in 2014 which allows for people to have their visas cancelled on character grounds.

“It’s the legal right of the Australian Government to deport Kiwi criminals, however we have the same rights and it’s my view that New Zealand needs to explore how a reciprocal policy could work here.”

And especially as under current law Aussie criminals can already be deported.

Newshub: Jacinda Ardern knocks ‘naïve’ Simon Bridges for mulling reciprocal deportations for Australians

The Opposition leader said if National’s elected he will explore a policy based on amendments to Australia’s Migration Act in 2014, which allows for people to have their visas cancelled on character grounds.

Bridges told Magic Talk: “I simply say fair is fair; why wouldn’t we do the same to them? Our laws are much more lenient than the Australian laws… When the Aussies are over here, we should reciprocate in New Zealanders’ interests.”

The Opposition leader said if it’s right for Australia then it’s “worth exploring whether it’s also the right position for New Zealand and our interests”.

The Prime Minister…

…has rejected Bridges’ stance, telling reporters on Monday: “Personally, I think Mr Bridges’ position is naïve.”

Ardern has repeatedly labelled Australia’s policy “corrosive” to the trans-Tasman relationship in the past, raising the issue with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in early 2019, but she later ruled out retaliation after meeting with him again in July.

The Prime Minister pointed out that New Zealand already deports criminals back to countries from which they hold citizenship, but that with Australia it’s a “matter of principle and a matter of proportion”.

“My view is, if we think this policy is wrong, why would we then repeat it?

“My position is that we must do and continue to do everything we can to make the point that what Australia is doing is wrong and the best way I can continue to make that is not by replicating something that I don’t agree with.

In terms of proportion – Ardern said there are roughly 62,000 Australians living in New Zealand compared to around 650,000 New Zealanders living in Australia.

Lawyer Graeme Edgeler responds: “The law already allows convicted Australians to be deported.”

The current version of the law is here:

The 1987 version of the law is here:

The test could be lower. We could grant fewer reprieves. But the idea of deporting permanent resident criminals is not new.

I doubt that appearing to get tough on Aussie criminals will attract many more votes for National.

The best known (notorious) Australian criminal in New Zealand is Brenton Tarrant, but he is being kept here to face multiple (51) murder charges plus attempted murder charges, as he should be. Bridges would more likely loose supported if he suggested Tarrant should be deported at this stage at least. And I’m sure New Zealanders convicted of crimes in Australia are charged and imprisoned there.

Leave a comment


  1. NOEL

     /  25th February 2020

    I’m sure Island stars must have some recent concerns with those we deport.
    We’ve been deporting Aussies for years and few who came here not long after birth.

    It’s only to reinforce to his voter base that they a more tough on law and order.
    Those voters outside of National who might be sensitive to his rhetoric have already left NZFirst.

    I loved the recent decisions that genealogy is to be factored before Aussie deports.
    Let’s declare all Mongols gang members have aboriginal connections and send them back.

  2. Zedd

     /  25th February 2020

    I lived in NSW for 20 years.. one thing I noticed, after returning (I was not deported).. the obsession that kiwi media place on ‘the GANGS’; still a regular feature in the news here. It was rarely mentioned on Aust. TV news. They have a different mindset.. to the ongoing FEAR-mongering that happens in Aotearoa about DRUGS !!

    I agree that it should be a reciprocal. They should also deport other foreign nationals too, rather than lock ’em up for years (at our expense)

    When I was in Aust. I remember receiving a ‘become an Aussie citizen’ pack. If ex-pats want to remain, they should consider taking this up ? :/

    • NOEL

       /  25th February 2020

      You’ve obviously haven’t got a son who inadvertently walked through a gang “turf” to be set upon by at least three radicalised youth for his phone. Result a TBI with with life long implications. No victim support and the gang closed rank, got a gang lawyer to drag the case out of time.

      Many countries deport after punishment, why should we be different?.

      What stand the Australians out is that they nurtured them many from birth or not long after birth.

  3. David

     /  25th February 2020

    Good on Bridges we should deport their crooks and not sit here cringing in fear or sulky pouting like our girl. I dont blame the Aussies for their stance it makes perfect sense even when there is a very tenuous link to NZ, best adios them when they contribute nothing to society aside from misery.
    We should deport Tarrant and no doubt we will but like all deportations its done after the sentence is served.

    • lurcher1948

       /  25th February 2020

      David don’t sound like a childish rightwing prat, that”girl” is our PM and shes 38yo unlike your advanced age, but a dinosaur comment but at least you didn’t call her a chick with hairy armpits like that short fat stale pale old geriatric soon to be unemployed on the southland fish and game board

    • Duker

       /  25th February 2020

      We do deport Aussie crooks who are convicted … read the story again.
      Tarrant will get life without parole

      • David

         /  25th February 2020

        You should actually read the story, you are being selective on the bits you are taking out of it as per.

        Tarrant hasnt been convicted or sentenced yet and could well get out sometime in the next 50 years, you are making assumptions. The point that you chose to ignore as is your want and practice of trying to rid this site of all commentators is deportation happens after sentence is completed.

        • Duker

           /  25th February 2020

          Life without parole means what ? No one is thinking he wont be convicted and sentenced …are you.?
          ..its your usual round and round in circles while digging the hole deeper

          I gave an example for the normal deportation from NZ of Aussies ( and Chinese, or Samoans or Yanks or French etc)
          So evidence of existing NZ deportation laws being used is given.

          • David

             /  25th February 2020

            Again in your haste to correct everyone who posts here regardless of right or wrong or nuance you have missed what was said. He hasnt been prosecuted or sentenced yet so life without parole at the moment is what the crown wants not what they have got. Try reading what I have written again.
            Not everyone is automatically deported after their sentences and Bridges is talking about being tougher in that department. Again read what is written, not everything written is absolute.

  4. NOEL

     /  25th February 2020

    Deportation happens in many countries after the person has finished his sentence.
    Reason different countries have different laws. Makes sense that the convicted are imprisoned in the country where the offence is committed.


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