New Zealand : New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had a blunt chat about the issue of Australian deportation laws which resulted in a conclusive distaste for the New Zealand PM.
The laws, introduced last year, indicate that any non-Australian criminal imprisoned for a year or more could face a revocation of ‘permit to live in Australia’. About 300 New Zealanders have been kept on hold in Australia or have been deported since the new laws came into force.
On this, New Zealand PM Key responded by saying that some New Zealanders now facing deportation, had spent their entire lives in Australia. He said many of those detained went to Australia when they were very, very, young. In Key’s exact words – Its a little bit like the Australians saying, – well, we’re going to pick and choose – we’re going to keep the ones we like but we’re going to send back the ones we don’t like.
Key said that New Zealand’s special relationship with Australia was being challenged by the new rules. Due to this, Key expected that Australia would consider treating New Zealanders differently from other countries.
Bishop stated that there was no closer relationship than Australia and New Zealand, and agreed that the issue needed further discussion.
The death of New Zealander Junior Togatuki, 23, in the Goulburn Correctional Centre, a super-maximum prison in New South Wales, had also raised concerns and added to the deportation issue. Togatuki had reportedly written to Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton pleading against his impending deportation.