Australia’s deportation policy is so “corrosive” that the relationship with New Zealand is soured, says New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
In recent months, Australia has expelled thousands of people convicted of a crime. Also, the government can take away their dual nationality.
Hundreds of people have been sent back to New Zealand, but “they grew up in Australia,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern during a press conference. “That’s their home.”
Approximately 650,000 New Zealanders live in Australia. That is more than one-tenth of the total New Zealand population. The two countries typically have an amicable relationship. That makes this conflict just as rare.
“If you have committed a crime, you have no right to stay here,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The discussion comes at a valuable time: on September 19, the New Zealanders will go to the polls, and Ardern hopes to maintain her position.
She is popular with liberal voters because of her focus on climate change and the reform of an arms law following racially motivated attacks.