Stern Ardern words on Australian treatment of ex-Kiwis

Jacinda Ardern had some stern words to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney today over Australian treatment of ex-Kiwis living in Australia.

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Beehive: PM’s remarks from joint stand-up with PM Morrison

But friendships aren’t just reaffirmed in times of tragedy, they must stand up to the test of politics. And in the face of politics, the New Zealand and Australia relationship is being tested.

We appreciate that many kiwis have taken up the opportunity to live and work in Australia – many more than has happened in reverse. Not every kiwi migrant will be perfect, but evidence shows that the vast majority are providing a net benefit to Australia. They earn more, are more likely to be employed and pay more tax than their Aussie-born counterparts – they are Australia’s best migrants. But rather than them being given security to keep contributing, in return their rights have been eroded.

Simple rights, like assistance from the national disability insurance scheme – even though they pay into the scheme’s levy. Or the ability to join the defence force, or become a federal civil servant. Kiwis want to contribute to the place that is now their home. But they’re not being given the potential to do that to the fullest.

Separate again is the issue of deportations. Australia is well within its rights to deport individuals who break your laws. New Zealand does the same. But we have a simple request. Send back kiwis, genuine kiwis – do not deport your people, and your problems.

I have heard countless cases of individuals who, on any common sense test, identify as Australians.

Just a few weeks ago I met a women who moved to Australia not much older than 1 year old. She told me that she had no connection to our country, but she had three children in Australia. She was in a crisis centre, having returned to a country she did not feel was her own. I have heard from those who work in our judiciary that they are seeing cases before our courts of individuals who are failing attempts to reintegrate and rehabilitate because the success of these programs is reliant on at least some network. These deportees have none.

I am not asking that Australia stops this policy- you have deported more than 2000 individuals and amongst them will be genuine kiwis who do have to learn the consequences of their actions. But amongst those 2000 are individuals who were too young to become criminals on our watch. They were too young to become patched gang members. Too young to be organised criminals. We will own our people. We ask that Australia stop exporting theirs.

hear Ardern here, and what Morrison.

Time will tell whether that makes any difference. I think probably not.

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: legislation.govt.nz/act/public/200

The 1987 version of the law is here: legislation.govt.nz/act/public/198

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.