Winston Peters and NZ's deportations row with Australia

It is something of a wonder that the NZ government is so furious at getting its own criminals back. We hear no such fury from other countries. Why does it think they are Australia's responsibility? They could have become Australian citizens but did not.

They say it is unjust because the criminals have often been here  for some years (attempting to exploit us, presumably). But Australia and NZ are very similar countries so it is absurd to say that the criminals will have difficulty fitting in back home.  And why should we care if they do?

I am afraid there is only one thing that makes sense of it all: Racism.  Most of the offenders are at least partly Maori and there is no doubt of the high level of criminality among the Maori.  New Zealand has one of the highest incarceration rates in the Western world, and more than half of the prison population is Maori, while Maori are only 16% of the overall population

I have had business dealings with some Maori myself and I repeatedly got the impression that their ethical system is very rudimentary.  It was not a happy experience.  I would much rather have had them in NZ than here

So Ms Ardern makes sense if you look at what is unsaid but she has no reasonable argument for lumbering us with her unwanted criminals

Mr Peters claims virtue by saying that NZ sends back far fewer people the other way. It is rare to deport Australians from NZ back to Australia.  If I may venture an obvious suggestion: That may be because it is much rarer for Australians to be criminal.  Australia's large ethnic minority is Chinese -- who are famously law-abiding.  So Mr Peters would  seem to be claiming a virtue he does not possess

Winston Peters has invoked the tragedy of the Christchurch massacre in blasting Australia’s policy of forced deportations of non-citizens, saying an Australian was charged with “the worst tragedy we’ve ever had”, and nobody “sought to abuse Australia about that”.

New Zealand’s deputy prime minister on Tuesday escalated Jacinda Ardern’s recent evisceration of Australia’s policy, telling the ABC the home affairs minister Peter Dutton had implemented deportations for political reasons and for personal ambition, and Australia should be “better than that”.

Peters told ABC radio that the man on trial for mass murder over the massacre had “come to this country from Australia”.

“Did we make a song and dance about Australia about that?”

“It was the worst tragedy we’ve ever had – 51 people lost their lives and scores and scores were damaged forever. It was far worse than Port Arthur, and no one in my country sought to abuse Australia about that.”

Forced deportations has been a point of friction in the bilateral relationship for several years, but has flared as New Zealand heads for the polls later this year. New Zealand police have said Australia’s policy is a significant factor behind a rise in domestic criminal gang activity.

Dutton said on Monday Ardern was accelerating criticism of the policy because of the looming election, and that was “regrettable”.

“New Zealand obviously is in an electoral cycle at the moment,” he told Sky News on Monday. “It is, I think, regrettable that she made the comments but that would have played well domestically for her.”

Peters rejected the commentary. He said the complaint from New Zealand was not about the election. “He’s wrong,” he said. Local police had raised the negative consequences of deportations of violent criminals because there was evidence of a growing problem. “We wouldn’t be saying it unless we had evidence.”

Peters argued Australia’s policy was fundamentally unfair: “You’ve sent thousands back to New Zealand and we’ve sent a handful back to you.”

During a visit to Australia last week, Ardern took her strongest stance yet opposing Australia’s policy of deporting New Zealand citizens, no matter how long they had spent in Australia, if they had committed a crime.

Morrison said Australia had no plans to abandon the policy. “The Australian government’s policy is very clear,” he said. “We deport non-citizens who have committed crimes in Australia against our community.

“This policy is applied not specific to one country, but to any country whose citizens are here. You commit a crime here, if convicted, once you have done your time, we send you home.”


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