It’s time for John Key to stop putting his mateship with Malcom Turnbull above the need to call Australia out for its appalling human rights abuses, the Green Party said today.
“John Key’s more interested in making silly bets over the rugby with his new BFF Malcolm Turnbull than getting New Zealanders off Christmas Island,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Marama Davidson.
“Overnight, Australia faced a grilling at the United Nations over their treatment of people in their detention centres, including on Christmas Island where New Zealanders are being held.
“While other countries, including the US, the UK and Switzerland, have strongly condemned Australia for its human-rights policies, John Key has ensured New Zealand remains weak and silent on the sidelines.
“It’s time for John Key to be brave and put human rights above the domestic political interests of the Australian Government.
“It’s not John Key’s job to shore up the Australian redneck vote on behalf of his new mate. It’s John Key’s job to stand strongly for the human rights of New Zealanders and others.
“Malcom Turnbull is desperate to look strong to Australian voters and John Key is desperate to help him – despite the fact New Zealanders’ lives are in danger on Christmas Island.
“It’s clear from the reports this morning that Christmas Island is going to hell in a handbasket and the longer New Zealanders are held there, the higher their risk of injury and death.
“John Key needs to stop caring so much about what Malcolm Turnbull thinks of him and start advocating for New Zealanders who are stuck on Christmas Island,” said Ms Davidson.