With more than 1000 New Zealand ex-pats sent back to their homeland since 2014 the NZ Prime Minister is calling on Australia to put an end to the deportations.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned to parliament this week and addressed the rising tensions between New Zealand’s justice minister Andrew Little and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
The deportation of New Zealand citizens back to their home country is viewed unkindly by lawmakers who say they are protecting the rights of New Zealand citizens.
‘We will keep talking about citizenship, we will keep trying to protect the rights of New Zealanders who study, we will keep talking about deportation. None of it holds back the rest though,’ Ms Ardern told AAP.
‘The reason we raise it is because we hope for some change, but we also acknowledge it’s their domestic policy and their right to set it.’
Mr Dutton has been a leading advocate of deporting violent criminals back to their home countries and has taken to social media on a number of occasions to champion his stance.
‘Deporting foreign criminals not only protects Australians, but new research shows that it saves money too,’ he wrote on his Twitter.
‘We saved $116 million from cancelling 184 visas of bikies and organised crime figures.’
Mr Dutton spoke to The Herald Sun and said the move was a nationwide initiative.
‘Right across our country we’ve been working with the state policing agencies to identify the top criminal targets,’ he said.
‘Including outlaw motorcycle gang members who are peddling ice to our young people in rural communities and regional communities and we are cancelling those visas and deporting those people.’
Mr Dutton said he has cancelled more visas of non-citizens who have been convicted of a crime in the last year than Labor did in six years.
‘And that means that communities right across this country are safer.’
Despite the contention between parliament offices Ms Ardern said the relationship between New Zealand and Australia would always be an important and strong one.
‘We have the kind of relationship that means we can speak frankly with one another and I really value that,’ she told AAP.
‘I don’t think that the fact we have different opinions on a few issues really holds us back.’