New Zealand's PM says Australia's deportation policy is 'corrosive'

29 Février, 2020, 01:25 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Australia has reported 22 cases of the new coronavirus but none that were contracted or passed from person-to-person inside the country

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks throughout a state memorial honouring victims of the Australian bushfires at Qudos Financial institution Enviornment in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, February 23, 2020.

"If you have committed a crime, and you're not a citizen of Australia, then you have no right to stay", he said.Some Twitter users in New Zealand and Australia called the press conference Ardern's "Love Actually" moment, referring to a scene in the popular romantic comedy where the fictional British Prime Minister publicly calls out his American counterpart for not respecting the relationship between their two countries. "But we have a simple request - send back Kiwis", she said.

As well, Australian Border Force is drawing up plans for extra measures at airports and shipping ports to ensure travellers suspected of having the virus can be quarantined or self-quarantined quickly and effectively.

While these might be isolated incidents, Ms Ardern says she wants Australia to be more selective with who they deport.

"Watching PM relax as someone roasts him (in) person let alone a woman is glorious you so rarely see it this video is hilarious", a tweet said.

She directly criticised Morrison - who was standing right next to her - over his Government's policies; namely, the way Kiwis are treated by the Australian Government as well as Morrison's deportation policy.

Roughly 650,000 New Zealand citizens - more than a tenth of the smaller country's population - live in Australia. "This policy is applied not specific to one country, but to any country whose citizens are here", he said.

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Mr Morrison said his government's stance was firm and that it would expect the same treatment from other countries.

Ardern's comments came ahead of a general election in New Zealand in September where Australia's treatment of migrants is expected to be a key issue.

She urged Australia to adopt New Zealand's approach to foreign criminals by stop deporting New Zealand citizens "who on any common sense test identify as Australians".

And we would have no objection to any country - anywhere - who would apply the same rule in terms of Australian citizens who commit crimes in other places. New Zealand courts were dealing with these long-term Australian residents who were failing to rehabilitate because they lacked the necessary family and social networks, she said.

Ardern faces a tough reelection battle later this year and Morrison is reeling after a series of high-profile scandals and crises.

Ardern did not mince her words.

She spoke of people with a tenuous link to New Zealand being sent here, and finding they have little to no connection to their new homeland.

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