NZ must look to balance rights for Kiwis in Australia

The National Government should immediately move to secure and balance the rights of Kiwis living in Australia, said the Green Party today.

Australia recently stepped up its policy of indiscriminate deportation of people who have been imprisoned for over 12 months, under new laws enacted in December 2014. Among those awaiting deportation in detention centres are about 300 New Zealanders.

The New Zealand Green Party and the Australian Green Party have jointly called for these indiscriminate deportations to be halted, and a case-by-case humanitarian assessment made of those detained.

“Earlier this year, the Prime Minister was praising our ‘special relationship’ with Australia, but the recent spate of deportations and detentions suggests that New Zealand is not so special,” said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Kennedy Graham.

“The Green Party would take a strong, proactive stance on the rights of Kiwis living in Australia, rather than dealing with it when it becomes a problem.

“Unless we move to formalise and balance these rights, New Zealanders will be stuck being the poorer cousin in this relationship.

“Australians living in New Zealand get a better deal than Kiwis living in Australia. That needs to change,” said Dr Graham.