Are you Newstralian?

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, October 16th, 2015 - 110 comments
Categories: australian politics - Tags:

So John Key and the new Oz PM are having a chat today and good ol’ JK will be mentioning the issue of “New Zealanders” who are being detained for deportation after a prison sentence.  People who are being detained in police stations without exercise or dark or quiet for days on end; detained on Christmas Island away from lawyers or family or support.  It’s not really western or first-world country stuff, from our “brothers”.

2-300 are detained, and dawn raids are netting more as up to 1000 people who have had sentences of a year or more are rounded up.

But a lot of these people no longer have any real connection to NZ.

This re-highlights a lot of the unfair treatment our “brothers” across the ditch are dishing out to “New Zealanders”.  People whose families moved over when they were toddlers, who have no family here, and now can’t get any state support when they’re in difficulty, and should they go to prison risk being sent to a country they don’t know, away from family and friends.  First you have to pay for hospitals, and end up on the streets when you lose your job, then you get expelled from your home country if you do anything wrong.

So we should be proposing a way of recognising that your birth country is no longer your home country when we have this freedom of movement:

If you’re an adult and have spent more than half your life on the other side of the Tasman, you should pretty much get citizenship as of right.

How can that not be fair?

110 comments on “Are you Newstralian? ”

  1. New Zealand also deports long term residents who lack citizenship. Generally back to the Islands but also to other places. Citizenship fees are beyond the reach of many.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      When you say “long term residents” are you including those who hold Permanent Resident status in NZ?

      If not, who are you referring to?

      • Westiechick 1.1.1

        Yes. You are eligible for deportation for 10 years after becoming a resident. Many spend years here before becoming a resident but the clock starts ticking only when residence granted. Its all in the Immigration Act.

        • Craig H

          After 5 years after residence, deportation can only happen where people are sentenced to at least 5 years imprisonment. Not that it never happens, but it’s not common, and it’s much narrower than the Australian laws.

          • Ad

            You have to try pretty damn hard to get thrown out of New Zealand.
            I heard of a case where a recent migrant had five separate convictions for breaching a on-molesation order, and still didn’t get chucked out.

  2. Bea Brown 2

    Don’t like the thought of these guys coming back to NZ.
    Most of them seem to have convictions for serious assaults, burglary etc.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Do you support them going to death camps?

    • Huginn 2.2

      Many of these people were imprisoned for short sentences for relatively minor convictions that add up to a year. It’s the sort of thing that happens to people who are outside the system, like kids of New Zealanders living in Australia, and who have no access to job training etc, no safety net.

      Many of the people who are being rounded up will have put this behind them years ago, and sorted themselves out.

  3. alwyn 3

    Why do you try and hold John Key as being in any way responsible for how Australia treats New Zealand citizens in their country?

    Australians do not, and have not for many years, had any special regard for New Zealand or New Zealanders. I suspect the last Australian PM to have any kind views about us was Robert Menzies and that was 50 years ago. The average Australian, in my experience, has no interest at all in New Zealand, or any knowledge of our country. I speak as someone who lived and worked there between 1989 and 1996. I was in Melbourne. My brother was at the same time living and working in Sydney. He says that people there were if anything worse.

    Just as an example I could ask a relatively well educated Australian what was the capital of New Zealand. Four out of five would say Auckland. The one who said Wellington would have no idea if you then asked which island it was on.
    They simply didn’t know and didn’t care. A New Zealand person was also the continued butt of insulting remarks. After 10,000 times you get more than a little sick of sheep “jokes” as they seemed to believe they were. Both my brother and I finally left and returned home. We were sick of them.

    The current situation is merely the end of a very long string of anti-New Zealand actions. It was, I think, 1981 when Australia insisted that we had to have passports to go there. In the early 1990’s, under Keating, Australia unilaterally cancelled an aviation agreement with New Zealand. There was no discussion. The Australian Government of the time simply wanted to beef up Qantas so they could sell it. NZ be damned.

    The 2001 “agreement” between NZ and Australia was simply the last straw. Unfortunately the then New Zealand Government, who could do absolutely nothing about it, claimed that it was a “win/win”, as I believe Goff claimed at the time.
    What they should have done is tell anyone thinking of moving to Australia the truth. You were never going to be able to become an Australian citizen if you went there under the “special visa” that was all you were now going to get. You could go there as a “guest worker” but that was all you would ever be. Our Government should have said, loudly and clearly, that if you wanted to move there permanently that you should make sure that you qualified for a standard visa like a person from any other country.
    They didn’t and people living there now are just discovering that fact.

    It is time we got over it. There is no “Anzac Spirit” or “mateship” any more. There hasn’t been for the lifetime of anyone after the baby boomers, and it isn’t going to come back.

    There was a column by Karl du Fresne in this morning’s Dom/Post. I cannot find it, as yet on line. If you have access to the hard copy I recommend it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      John Key is responsible for how he chooses to respond to Australian human rights abuse. If he thinks a matey chat is the right course, or whether he thinks that expelling the Australian ambassador so long as the abuse camps are still in operation.

      His call. No doubt he’ll address the issue with an eye to his personal popularity. Meanwhile, you’re shilling for human rights abuse. That’s your call too.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Why do you try and hold John Key as being in any way responsible for how Australia treats New Zealand citizens in their country?

      It is time we got over it. There is no “Anzac Spirit” or “mateship” any more.

      Yep. How Australia acts is up to Australia. How we respond to that is up to us. My suggestion is that we mirror the laws that they’re putting in place for Australians and treat Australians how they treat us. I also think we should drop the pretence of the being ‘mateship’. Personally, I don’t think that it’s ever been there.

      • weston 3.2.1

        pretty much right draco and as an american clone hardly supprizing they look down on us and are not particularly friendly ..from afar at least tho no doubt when the meeting takes place between key and the ausie itll be handshakes and bonhomie in spades but the ausie will make sure key knows whos boss

      • AB 3.2.2

        I’ve always thought the Australian bolt hole has been a safety valve that prevents the widespread social unrest that would be the proper response to neoliberalism.
        Can’t say I’d be too unhappy if that bolt hole was gone.

        And if Australia loses food security in 50 years time due to climate change making some of their existing agriculture marginal, then NZ had better watch out

    • Hi alwyn,

      An interesting comment that puts some historical perspective on the issue and I certainly agree that there is no ‘special relationship’ as such (and less and less even of the pretence of one).

      But, for me, that makes the argument stronger for making a principled stand.

      Of course, we do have an economic dependency upon Australia (e.g., by far the majority of our tourists) so presumably the ‘trade before human rights’ principle of political action will kick in.

  4. Bea Brown 4

    Death camps?
    Steady on.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Just checking to see whether your moral compass is completely broken.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      They’re in prison in atrocious conditions that could result in death and so Death Camps is a fit description.

      • Bob 4.2.1

        They are also free to leave those camps to go back to the country where they are citizens at any stage, so Death Camps is an extremely insensitive and unhelpful terminology to use.
        By your logic, a swimming complex is a ‘death complex’ because the conditions ‘could’ result in death, even if no-one has ever drowned there. Pathetic.

        • lprent

          Ah no they are not. Clearly you are being ignorant again.

          The deportation process is usually long and involved even if the person being deported is not fighting it.

          In the aussie camps at present there are kiwis who aren’t opposing deportation who have been there more than 6 months. Being born in Australia to kiwi residents there, they don’t have any passports. Consequently they can’t enter NZ or any other country. The same applies to children of other residents who live in aussie.

          Similarly there are people in the camps whose passports and citizenship has been removed by their country of origin.

          Perhaps you should learn to find things out before making a complete idiot of yourself.

          • RedLogix

            This has been a real sleeper issue that’s been slowly accumulating since Howards reprehensible rule changes in 2001. (On openly racist grounds I might add – he was concerned about Fijian Indians using NZ residency as a leapfrog into Aus).

            No-one has done any research I’m aware of and the numbers are really vague – but I think you might be be surprised at how many people are becoming effectively stateless under these rules.

          • Craig H

            If someone turns up at the NZ border without a passport, but the Border staff can work out that the person is an NZ citizen using other means, they must be granted entry permission.

            • lprent

              Yes. If they were born here or they held a passport. If they were born offshore and were never GRANTED NZ Citizenship, then they aren’t NZ citizens. Haven’t you ignorant fools ever read the rules?

              I put linked of the rules down for srylands who appears to be as stupid, lazy, and ignorant as you are. He can’t use google as well.

          • srylands

            “Being born in Australia to kiwi residents there, they don’t have any passports. ”
            Many people do not have “passports”. They simply need to apply for one. Your comment infers that these people are stateless. They are not – they are New Zealand citizens.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          free to leave those camps

          No means of earning, but the sky fairy will magic you a plane ticket?

          You seem more concerned about hyperbole than you do the human rights abuse. Am I wrong?

  5. Bob 5

    Agree about the people with no real connection with NZ, but there is also a bit of media beat-up going on with this story.
    Every detained person is free to leave whenever they like as long as it is back to the country where they are a citizen. You say, “If you’re an adult and have spent more than half your life on the other side of the Tasman, you should pretty much get citizenship as of right”, but unless people enter Australia after applying for citizenship, the arrangement that allows those people to set up in Australia are the 1994 regulations, under which New Zealand citizens entering Australia are treated as having applied for a temporary entry visa.
    As shit as the situation is, if people think they can move to Australia without obtaining citizenship and be treated as anything more than temporary migrants, they are wrong.

    Here is an article from a couple of years ago on the way the Aussies look at the relationship:

    • RedLogix 5.1

      I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t treat me as a permanent resident for tax purposes – and a temporary one for all others.

      John Key also introduced regulation very early on in his govt that meant unless you returned to NZ for a week every three years, your right to vote in NZ elections is suspended. If you no longer have family in NZ and have settled in Australia, you can pretty easily finish up disenfranchised. Only a few ten’s of thousands of Newstralians voted in recent elections – and it’s not an especially easy process. I thought I could do it online, but there are hurdles to leap through – and I finished up missing the deadline last time.

      There are about 625,000 NZ’ers living in Australia on this SCV444 visa and as every year goes by, the number who are effectively becoming stateless guest workers with very diminished legal and citizenship rights grows larger.

      Just saying ‘they can always bugger off back home’ is neither practical on that scale – and a rather ugly sentiment when you think about it.

      Overall Kiwis in Australia are more likely to be employed, earn more on average, and are less likely to be imprisoned. We contribute strongly as a group – but have been erased politically by governments on both sides of the Tasman.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        “John Key also introduced regulation very early on in his govt that meant unless you returned to NZ for a week every three years, your right to vote in NZ elections is suspended”.
        I thought that the 3 year rule applied when I was living there, 25 years ago. Are you sure that it only dates from Key’s time?
        Personally I thought it was quite reasonable. I also thought it was reasonable that I couldn’t vote there if I was not a citizen and I think it is something we should bring in here. By the time I was eligible to become a citizen I was determined that I was coming home so I never applied.

        • RedLogix

          I could be wrong; I was under the impression Key had changed something about the rule.

          Personally I would argue that if I’m still a citizen of NZ, and I’m still eligible to live here at any time in the future, then I have an interest in voting.

        • RedLogix

          I did a wee google and found this:

          Kiwis in OZ Voting in NZ Elections
          From: []
          Sent: Monday, 6 May 2013 8:35 AM
          Subject: General Inquiry
          Dear Christel,

          Thank you for your email .

          To be able to vote overseas you need to have lived in New Zealand for a period of 1 year continuously, you need to have New Zealand permanent residency, you need to have resided at an address for a period of one month in New Zealand which you will have listed as your voting address and you need to be over the age of 18.

          After you have lived overseas for 3 years you will be removed from the electoral roll until you return to New Zealand and reside at an address for a month or more. If you return within the 3 years then the 3 year period will start again and you will be able to vote for another 3 years.

          If you need assistance please email us again or call us on 0800 36 76 56.
          Yours faithfully
          Enrolment Services
          Electoral Commission

          Maybe the period you had to return for was extended to a month; whereas before the criterion was “return at any time”. That’s just long enough to rule out most visits home while on leave or FIFO.

          • alwyn

            What they say is what I thought the rules were when I lived in Australia.
            If you were away for three years with no return visits they took you off the roll.
            The thing you found isn’t any different from what had been my understanding of the matter in the early 90’s.
            They aren’t talking about having to be back for a month if it is within three years of having left. They are saying that after you have been away for more than three years you have to come back for a month or more to go back on the roll. The bit about residing for a month or more is in a sentence that starts “After you have lived overseas for 3 years …”.
            On the other hand this may only be the current situation and my memory of what the situation was when I lived there could be wrong. Does anyone know what the situation really was in the 90’s?

  6. James Growley 6

    I can understand the Aussies wanting to get rid of criminals that are not their citizens, after all they already have enough of the home grown variety. What I can’t understand is why they round them up and incarcerate them for long periods of time in “detention centres” prior to their removal. Surely, it would be more expedient and cost effective just to put them on a plane when they find them.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      In many cases there is absolutely nowhere for them to go when they step off the plane in NZ. They simply have no connection anymore to the country that is named on their passport. Especially if they came to Australia relatively young.

      And the numbers are growing rapidly because the criteria was tightened up this year by Abbott govt – which means a relatively modest accumulation of quite minor offenses can result in the pretty drastic penalty of deportation.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      It must be nice to be so completely ignorant of the drivers of crime.

      Right wing trash create the social conditions that foster crime then victimise those who succumb. Repugnant.

      • The lost sheep 6.2.1

        ‘The drivers of crime’

        The people who actually commit crimes being mere passengers strapped helplessly into the seat and completely unable to alter the course of the vehicle.

        • McFlock

          Actually, thinking of the occasional 12 or 13 year old kid locked up for their part in a murder or manslaughter, sometimes that’s not a bad description. A bit like throwing them out of a plane without a parachute and blaming them when they hit someone or damage property when they land.

          But of course there’s generally a continuum of responsibility for one’s actions, not the binary all/none that your tory brain is only capable of grasping.

          Funnily enough it’s usually the ones with the most privilege and most personal responsibility for their actions who are deemed “nonviolent” and “pay reparation” (normally a fraction of what they stole from ordinary kiwis) before sentencing, so don’t even have to move their Egyptian cotton shirtcuffs out of the way before they get their slap on the wrist with a wet taxi chit (bus ticket??? how brutish)

          • The lost sheep

            But of course there’s generally a continuum of responsibility for one’s actions, not the binary all/none that your tory brain is only capable of grasping.

            I agree completely McFlock.
            Your last paragraph seems a bit anecdotal though.

            • McFlock

              Doug Graham and the ilk spring to mind.

              But if you were capable of non-binary thinking, why did you refer to people who commit crime as passengers, even sarcastically? A single crime can have many “drivers”.

              • The lost sheep

                The ‘sarc’ was meant to indicate that i was parodying OAB’s implication that the cause of crime was simplistic i.e. it was all caused by right wing trash.

                • McFlock

                  Well, that was the inference you took, anyway. Simplistic. I guess you’re not as sophisticated as you thought.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Dehumanising labels aren’t so flash when you’re the one wearing them. I look forward to your bailing the likes of Tory and Naki Man up when they characterise prison inmates in similar terms.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          That’s a seductive narrative, Sheep.

          In what sense is it anything other than the prologue to a vengeance fantasy? Do you want effective penal policy or not?

          • The lost sheep

            That depends on whether or not you believe that people who were brought up in the grip of the conditions that are the ‘drivers of crime’ have sufficient self awareness and free will to be to some degree conscious of the implications of their actions on victims, and if so, whether it follows that to some extent they then have a ‘personal responsibility’ for their criminal actions OAB?

            Or if it’s just a matter of ensuring a caring Social Democratic Government is in place for a sufficient period of time, and crime will cease to occur?

        • Puddleglum

          The people who actually commit crimes being mere passengers strapped helplessly into the seat and completely unable to alter the course of the vehicle.

          I would really like someone – of left or right persuasion – to tell me how people make ‘choices’ in any sense that is useful in the context of a political discussion.

          I have never heard a convincing argument that showed why we should conduct policy (e.g., in terms of rewards and punishments) based on so-called responsible versus irresponsible choices.

          Such arguments never seem able to answer the very obvious question: What causes one person to make responsible choices and another to make irresponsible choices?

          The answer to that question seems to me always to have to end up identifying some process over which the individual had no control (e.g., genes, parenting, past environmental ‘contingencies’, etc.).

          Therefore it seems straightforwardly immoral to base policy on so-called free ‘choices’ between responsible and irresponsible options.

          The only morally defensible goal of policy is therefore to arrange environments so that ‘better’ actions are generated by the environment.

          The things we say and do are just expressions and summations of all that is happening within and around us. They are not free acts of agents – ever.

          It might be convenient, for certain purposes, to pretend that they are – but they aren’t. How could they be?

          Just to clarify, the point of the above isn’t simply to rehearse a free will versus determinism argument. It’s about what’s acceptable justification, in basic moral terms, for policy positions.

          Saying that only people who make irresponsible choices will fall foul of policy ‘X’ just doesn’t cut that mustard.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            But, but, but, Labour did it too, and anyway you hurt my amygdala.

          • RedLogix

            I always rather like the metaphor which compared the development of a human, with the arc of development demonstrated by society.

            A very young child when confronted with injustice might run to mum for protection, or lash out in fright depending on personality and circumstance.

            Similarly most societies have treated criminals accordingly, they’ve sought to make the problem go away by exile and long imprisonment – or vengeance through harsh or capital punishment.

            With adolescence comes a rudimentary insight that perhaps segregating criminals to protect the innocent would be a desirable net gain – and the idea of custody for the purpose of protecting society takes root.

            The inevitable logic which follows on from this is that either you have to keep criminals locked up forever – or on their eventual release they must be so changed as to pose a lessor risk of reoffending, and thus the idea of rehabilitation.

            From here it is not much of a leap from the idea of our collective responsibility to rehabilitate the criminal – to that of reforming the society from whence he/she arose and pre-determines much, maybe all, of our inclinations and preferences.

            But from where do these inclinations and habits come from? For it is what we believe that powerfully shapes our perception of right and wrong, and from this we distill the abstractions of morality. Yet despite this formative crucible we are all subjected to – we cannot escape the idea that the individual is nonetheless responsible for their own ethical expression and agency.

            The force and character of our ethical life is driven by the power of conscience. From this vantage point we might peer into an ideal future and suppose that the most potent means to prevent crime would be if all peoples were so refined as the mere contemplation of a crime brings such shame and sorrow to the heart – that this might be both effective prevention and sufficient punishment at the same time.

            But no stage of this journey erases the import of what has gone before. Each stage is an accumulated layer that builds the edifice of conscience and humility. Seen in this light, the paradox of free will and determinism are nothing more than different views of the same complex structure, in which choices and consequences weave together in a mutual dance of personal responsibility and collective policy.

            Or as OAB might put it – please stop hurting my amygdala.

            PS: Brilliant

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The force and character of our ethical life is driven by the power of conscience…


              The only morally defensible goal of policy is therefore to arrange environments so that ‘better’ actions are generated by the environment.


              You guys are more-or-less on the same page, “conscience” being affected by that environment PG mentioned.

          • The lost sheep

            It’s about what’s acceptable justification, in basic moral terms, for policy positions.

            Can’t the question/s you pose be answered with the relatively simple proposition that ‘policy’ is not an all encompassing bubble that both causes and explains all individual or collective choices?
            As RL so eloquently posits below… “free will and determinism are nothing more than different views of the same complex structure, in which choices and consequences weave together in a mutual dance of personal responsibility and collective policy.”

            So if you disagree with ‘the mutual dance’ and adhere to ‘determinism’, then your ‘justification for policy positions’ is that the policy you implement will be ‘responsible’ for all the individual and collective outcomes within the human sphere your policy encompasses.
            So while your intended outcomes are your justification for policy, you accept that your policy will also be responsible for undesirable or unintended outcomes.

            But if you believe in the ‘mutual dance of personal responsibility and collective policy’, your intended outcomes will still be your justification, but you will believe you must take into account the ways free will manifests and how that impacts on the outcomes your policy is attempting to achieve.
            And it follows that collective policy not just justifies, but requires you must respond to the actions of free will that undermine policy. If such a response is disadvantageous to individuals or groups exercising free will in a particular way, your intended collective policy outcomes are your justification, and both the individual and policy may bear some degree of responsibility for those consequences?

            I’m not saying anything new obviously. These are the classic political divides.
            But I do find it a pity that here on TS debate usually gets shouted down by dogmatic ‘Deterministic’ ideologues whenever a commenter dares to introduce any suggestion of the ‘mutual dance’. IMO debate here would be so much more interesting if we could just occasionally have a sensible discussion that actually accepted the idea that it takes two to Tango.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The problems caused by right wing penal dribble occur because you indulge vengeance fantasies rather than solutions.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s the real life manifestation of the following exchange between Dr. Melfi and Tony Soprano…

                Dr. Melfi – I’m interested in why you feel punishing this man falls upon you.

                Tony Soprano – Well, it sure doesn’t fall upon you.

                Dr. Melfi – What do you mean?

                Tony Soprano – What would you do? You’d call the cops, who’d get some judge who’d give him psychiatric counseling. So maybe he could talk about his unhappy childhood and we could have sympathy for the fuck cause he’s the real victim here, right?

                Soprano seeks to make himself feel better about coach Hauser’s crimes. That’s the essence of right wing penal policy.

                • The lost sheep

                  What part of my comment implies a vengeance fantasy OAB?

                  Or are you just spouting complete shit again rather than genuinely tackle a complex matter in a honest way?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The object of my criticism is right wing penal policy. As I already stated, I’m not interested in the things you believe, no matter how hard you believe them.

                    • The lost sheep

                      No. That’s just a bullshit gutless answer.

                      You accused me of indulging in vengeance fantasies.
                      So please either clarify your accusation, or withdraw it…?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      1. Right wing ‘personal responsibility’ does not exist.
                      2. It is in fact a means by which right wingers blame poor people for poverty, criminals for the crime rate, etc.
                      3. Right wing penal policy is an extension of this: “get tough (as though any of you are ‘tough’ – what a joke) on crime” – “criminal scum”, “ferals”, “low-life”; don’t pretend you are a stranger to this rhetoric.
                      4. “They” ‘deserve’ it. That’s the not-so-subtle subtext, eh. Vengeance.

                      You’re more polite than that, and yet you assert that society must “respond to the actions of free will that undermine policy.” Poor people have the “free will” to not make the “bad choices” that Dear Leader waffles about, for example. Puddleglum’s comment debunks that dogma.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You’re more polite than that
                      It’s a bit more than that OAB. I don’t actually hold any of the simplistic views you suggest.
                      Never met many at all who do in fact. Most people I know believe in some version of the ‘mutual dance’ that RL has outlined. I do understand though that it would threaten your worldview to accept that is the case.

                      yet you assert that society must “respond to the actions of free will that undermine policy.” Poor people have the “free will” to not make the “bad choices”

                      You seem to have the very strange belief that free will and responsibility are exclusively limited to the rich, and you also seem to assume that I am talking purely about a response to the actions of the ‘poor’.
                      I am not of course. I believe we all have free will to some varying degree, and therefore to some varying degree do bear a personal responsibility for the actions we choose to make.
                      Take for example a Company Director that deliberately chooses to avoid tax, knowing very well that Tax policy is a key mechanism for ensuring the collective well being.
                      Do you think that society should respond to that Directors actions OAB? And that the response should involve some form of ‘punishment’ and that the Director would ‘deserve it’?
                      Of course you do, because you have expressed such opinions many times.

                      So what about the ‘poor’ person who deliberately chooses to steal from another poor person, knowing very well of the collective policy that forbids such actions and the effect it will have on the victim?
                      Society should not respond to their actions OAB? They should not be ‘punished’ because they do not ‘deserve it’?

                      If you believe that, I suggest it’s you that has the problem with vengeance fantasies!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That would be a strange belief indeed, requiring me to ignore all evidence to the contrary. I’m curious as to how you imagine I hold it.

                      “Free will and responsibility”, in the sense you’re asserting, do not exist.

                      This isn’t a matter of belief: in fact it goes against my every instinct and I don’t want to believe it at all: it’s just the inescapable conclusion presented by the evidence, from neuro-biology on down.

                      I’m glad you mentioned the company director, though: have a look at the disparity between sentences handed down to white collar criminals and those handed down to more productive members of society. The manifest bias is an illustration of the destructive effects of right wing drivel.

                      Please make a vague attempt to re-read my arguments paying attention to the things I’m saying rather than spilling your own interpretations all over them.

                      Edit: perhaps you disagree with my second paragraph. Link to evidence or don’t bother.

    • weston 6.3

      beacause they can would surely be the answer to that question Its just the ordinary garden variety of facism rearing its ugly head isnt it ?

  7. dv 7

    – which means a relatively modest accumulation of quite minor offenses can result in the pretty drastic penalty of deportation.

    Wasn’t that how Australia was settled 150 years ago?

  8. Bea Brown 8

    We have known about our status in Australia since Helen Clark signed the agreement. NZers need to find out the rules and not whinge when they get caught breaking them.
    Many of these people possibly pre-date that agreement but they have offended more than once and often seriously.
    We make a fuss about a singer’s violent offences against women but seem to be giving these guys a huge amount of sympathy when, in fact, they are the authors of their own misfortune.
    Yes I know there’s a lot of blah de blah but why on earth is Labour going in to bat for them? Kelvin Davis was doing well on Serco but now seems to have lost the plot.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Another lawnorder hypocrite who wants to relitigate the outcome of WWII.

    • Huginn 8.2

      Many of them are not serious offenders.

      New Zealand kids who grew up in Australia can’t get into further education or job training after they leave school. There’s no safety net for them. If there was trouble at home eg sick parents themselves out of the system, then they may have committed crimes like burglary to feed themselves.

      They may have put it behind them & straightened up years ago – but they’re still going to be rounded up & put in detention camps.

    • weston 8.3

      ever heard the saying there but for the grace of god bea ?i doubt these prisoners are monsters for having spent a year or so in prison and would bet that were you to meet any of them would probably find them quite normal actually a lot like you or i and the underlining issue is theyve done there time and deserve to be free as they would be in a non dysfunctional law respecting civilized country !!

  9. Huginn 9

    It’s about time we reviewed the entire agreement with Australia.

    It was written up a long time ago and we should be asking whether it’s still fit for purpose.

  10. srylands 10

    ” If there was trouble at home eg sick parents themselves out of the system, then they may have committed crimes like burglary to feed themselves.

    They may have put it behind them & straightened up years ago – but they’re still going to be rounded up & put in detention camps.”

    You are simply making shit up. You have no data on the offending profile of the New Zealanders currently being detained in Australia.
    However, many of them would have arrived in New Zealand well before 2001. They should have applied for Australian citizenship. For those that went there after 2001, they knew that they would never be granted Australian citizenship.

    You need to remember that the current arrangements with Australia were Helen Clark’s idea. The alternative was to keep paying an ever mounting bill to the Australians for social welfare. The Australians sought to renogotiate that arrangement. This was the result.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      You need to remember that people here can remember what was Helen Clark’s idea. Scum like you advised right wing nut jobs in Aussie to get votes by playing at tough guys.

      Wear it, S Rylands.

    • galeandra 10.2

      Srylands “You are simply making shit up….”
      Unlike you?

      These people have been in prison for a variety of offences, as can be ascertained from interviews on TV and in print, including direct comments by cell-phone. Some of their offending has included assault, breach of probation and burglary. Some will have been seriously criminal, no doubt, and some will have been less so. You might notice the use of “many of ” & “may have”in Huggin’s post. Do pay attention.

      They have been ‘held’ as in incarcerated under conditions as extreme as lock-down and solitary confinement,after their sentences of imprisonment have been completed, as have been many of the ‘boat people’ unfortunate enough to end up in Nauru or on Christmas Island. No doubt this sort of breach of the UN Charter of Human Rights is ok in your universe, it’s not in mine.

    • Is your point that whatever offences these people committed and served time for also justify detention without charge for an indefinite period, because Labour? Otherwise, it’s not obvious what point you’re trying to make.

    • alwyn 10.4

      I don’t believe that they were Helen Clark’s “idea” at all.
      She didn’t have any real choice in the matter. What she did wrong was to agree to what was an Australian ultimatum without telling the New Zealand populace what it was that she was having to agree too. She should have told us in 2001 what it was that Australia was going to do.

      David Lange did that when New Zealand released the Rainbow Warrior bombing organisers. He told us that New Zealand couldn’t afford the problems France would cause us with access to Britain and the rest of Europe. Helen should have been equally honest and told us what Australia was up to and that there was nothing we could do about it.

      • lprent 10.4.1

        What she did wrong was to agree to what was an Australian ultimatum without telling the New Zealand populace what it was that she was having to agree too. She should have told us in 2001 what it was that Australia was going to do.

        She did. Weren’t you listening? Google it and you will find she did lay out exactly these kinds of issues at the time. Some were picked up by the intelligent media at the time, and some were not.

        But the issue of kids in aussie was extensively talked about at the time. Certainly my relatives heading over to aussie made decisions about shifting to aussie citizenship, or came back here to have kids.

        • alwyn

          I was listening at the time, although it wasn’t going to concern me any more as I had made my decision about where I wanted to live.
          I don’t remember an unequivocal, or complete, explanation from the New Zealand Government as to what the Australian actions were going to mean to people from this country who were planning to move across the ditch and despite the wonders of Google I can’t find any now.
          There were various comments but the ones I have found are generally along the lines that the Australian Government must make the decisions it chooses, or take the rosy viewpoint that things haven’t changed very much.
          Can you please give me any links to where the then New Zealand Government spelled out, in detail and to a full public forum, what the things the Australia would mean?
          I can’t find any and I have looked.
          It doesn’t matter now of course but I still think it was a failure not to have told any New Zealand people moving over there what the long term implications were going to be. This was, considering the enormous number of people who shift over there, probably the most momentous occurrence that happened in this country during the first decade of this century.
          At the least this need only have involved sending the information to anyone who on their New Zealand departure card said that they were leaving New Zealand permanently for Australia.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            For example, as reported by TVNZ.

            • McFlock


            • alwyn

              This press release you reference seems to prove my point.
              I seems to follow exactly what I say in “take the rosy viewpoint that things haven’t changed very much.”
              For example it says
              “The new arrangements preserve the right of New Zealanders to move to and live and work in Australia.”
              “”From today New Zealanders will have to be granted permanent residency, as well as have lived in Australia for two years”
              “underscores our ability to work together on issues of common concern”

              Do you really understand that things have drastically changed because it doesn’t tell you that for most people from this country it will be almost impossible to get the required permanent residence, and you will never be able to fully settle there.
              Let’s face it. Even Oscar winner Russell Crowe doesn’t qualify.
              All this is is a spoonful of honey and a hope that people don’t realise what the Government of Australia is doing.
              She should have spelt out fully what the changes meant. She wasn’t to blame for what Australia did but she shouldn’t have left us in a state of blissful ignorance.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Luckily, TVNZ spelled it out, as per the second link.

                Oh, and that is one statement from HC at the time. Are you going to take some personal responsibility for your opinion by looking for more, or do other commenters have to do it for you?

                • alwyn

                  The second reference was of course not from the New Zealand Government. It was from an academic from Monash University in Melbourne.
                  I did look for other statements at the time from Helen Clark, or the New Zealand Government in general. They were all of the “every thing is fine and nothing much has changed ilk”.
                  I found lots and lots of those but I can’t find any that spell it out clearly that most people can no longer move there and become citizens and the world has changed for good.
                  The one you referenced certainly doesn’t raise any alarm bells does it? Neither did any of the copious references I found.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I can recall being completely aware of Howard’s xenophobic vote-grubbing. Perhaps I wasn’t blinded by team loyalty or something.

                    • alwyn

                      I have zero time for Howard.

                      On the other hand, and I hope I am not accused of following Godwin’s law, I wish the New Zealand Government of the time had echoed Churchill rather than Chamberlain in their views on the Munich agreement..

                      Our Government should have said something like Churchill’s
                      “We have suffered a total and unmitigated defeat … you will find that in a period of time which may be measured by years, but may be measured by months”

                      rather than emulate Chamberlain’s
                      “My good friends, for the second time in our history a (British) New Zealand Prime Minister has returned from (Germany) Australia bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time”.

                      Then we would have understood what the effects were going to be.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke



                    • McFlock

                      and yet Clark wouldn’t have wibbled about “matesmanship” when talking about nzers dying in deportation camps.

                    • RedLogix

                      Maybe we should just deport their banks.

                      That would get their attention.

                    • alwyn

                      “and yet Clark wouldn’t have wibbled about “matesmanship” when talking about nzers dying in deportation camps.”
                      Wow! Perhaps you can tell us just HOW you know that?
                      The answer is you don’t, just as I have no idea what John Key might have said if he had been present in 2001.

                      That is why I talk about things that did happen, not those that never did and about which nothing can be known. You are like the people in the 1970’s who told us what Kennedy would have done in his second term, and how he would have withdrawn from Vietnam and all those other things. They, like you, happily announced as facts things that simply couldn’t be known.

                    • McFlock

                      “and yet Clark wouldn’t have wibbled about “matesmanship” when talking about nzers dying in deportation camps.”
                      Wow! Perhaps you can tell us just HOW you know that? The answer is you don’t, just as I have no idea what John Key might have said if he had been present in 2001.

                      Oh fuck off. We’ve had seven years of key and nine years of clark. If you can’t see any significant differences in communication style with that level of data to draw from, then you’re an idiot. We’re not talking geopolitical alternate history speculation here, it’s just a simple observation that Clark knows that “diplomacy” is not shorthand for “being a snivelling little toady”.

          • srylands

            I have some sympathy with what you are saying. I don’t think the 5th Labour Government did spell out the consequences of the new arrangements in 2001. Their focus was on avoiding an ever increasing fiscal transfer to Australia. Under the previous arrangements that were in place from the mid 80s until 2001 New Zealand partially compensated Australia for welfare payments to New Zealanders. The amount paid was renegotiated every three years. When it came up for renegotiation in 2000 the bill was too high to bear.

            So the restricted rights of New Zealanders in Australia came at the instigation of the New Zealand Government. The stated priority was for the welfare of New Zealanders in New Zealand, NOT New Zealanders living in Australia. So when New Zealand suggested that Australia cut off access to benefits to Kiwis in Australia, the Australian Government effectively said ‘cool problem fixed. Thanks for that.”

            While I have sympathy for the plight of New Zealand children in Australia who find themselves in a fix, I have much less sympathy for long term New Zealand residents – those who arrived before 2001- and who could have easily applied for Australian citizenship after 5 years, and been granted that unless they were of bad character. Many did not do so because they had limited incentives. They were living in benign circumstances. The lesson is that if you are going to reside long term in another country it is very stupid not to become a citizen if you are able to do so because the policies of that country towards non-citizens can change.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I don’t think the 5th Labour Government did spell out the consequences of the new arrangements in 2001.

              Lprent’s right, you are Google-challenged!

              Do I have to drag you backwards through the Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (New Zealand Citizens) Bill 2001 before you’ll get a grip on reality?

              • srylands

                I don’t know what the fuck you are on about. And Prentice is a nasty piece of work. I would not quote him in support of any point you are making.

                To repeat – the Government in 2000 was motivated for fiscal reasons to suggest to Australia that the arrangements be changed. The press release from Helen Clark of course puts a rosy picture on things because the rights of all the existing residents in Australia were grandparented.

                Now go fuck yourself and stop quoting Prentice at me. I pay zero attention to anything he says.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  to suggest to Australia that the arrangements be changed.

                  I expect this is a lie.

                  Yep: sure’nuff, John Howard claims it was his initiative. Why does S Rylands tell so many lies? Force of habit? For the money? I think we should be told.

                  • McFlock

                    My guess is that sslands just assumes he knows everything, so he doesn’t need to check his assertions.

                    Best way to avoid any inconvenient truths…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      My guess is that S Rylands earns money by constructing sophisticated rhetoric in support of the things right wing politicians want to do.

  11. Tory 11

    Syrians, 100% correct. Problem is these bleeding heart liberals don’t realise that the right to live and work in another country is a privilege not a right. These fuckers that have robbed, assulted, raped and burgled law abiding members of the public deserve everything they get. I have been accused of only being concerned about myself but it pisses me off when so many Kiwis who have made Ausssie their home and are advocating for greater recognition are being pushed to the side by the convicted who are crying “it’s not fair”. Tought shit, read the fine print before you decided to make a decision that has long lasting consequences.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      That’s right, it’s all about you, and your fatuous vengeance fantasies, [deleted].

      [lprent: Too far again. Tone it down before I have to start wasting time on you. You know the drill. ]

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        bleeding heart liberals don’t realise that the right to live and work in another country is a privilege not a right.

        but but but you literally just called it a “right”: the right to live and work in another country.

    • Puddleglum 11.2


      I presume you were directing your comment at srylands?

    • lprent 11.3

      So you characterise children who grew up in aussie that way? That they made a choice to be there?

      You really are a fool.

  12. KJT 12

    Wonder how it does work for FIFO when it normally works out at 26 days leave in New Zealand, 2 days travel time and 28 days work, especially as you can still be tax resident in New Zealand. Though both countries will try and sting you, despite the double tax treaty.

    I know one Indian, who was a New Zealand permanent resident, living, paying taxes and taking his leaves in New Zealand, who could not rake up the required years of residency for NZ citizenship, because of his work leave cycle.

    Working in Indonesia on a Liberian flag rig, owned by France, run by a US company, under a contract from a Belgian manning company, supplied from Australia, gets even more complicated.

  13. Oh, and …

    the right to live and work in another country is a privilege not a right

    I think that contradicts itself.

    [[Edit: a response to Tory.]

  14. Tory 14

    Syrlands, yes a slip of the key pad.
    OAB, you still here? how come you are not heading to Aussie with Kelvin to help the convicted get saved from the “death camps”. [deleted]

    [lprent: That is too far. The deleted description didn’t relate at all to your point, which makes it pointless abuse and in this case is designed to provoke exclusionary behaviour. Please avoid going down that path and stop causing me work. If I get too many calls on my times then I will remove the problem. ]

  15. Tory 15

    Galeandra, what you and the others don’t understand is these convicted criminals have committed 2 crimes. The first is what they get locked up for and the second is breaching the terms of their resident or work permit visas. Most countries extradite non resident convicted criminals, many in far worse conditions.
    How about a bit of empathy for the victims of crime rather than rolling out the red carpet for the shitheads who chose to shit in their own nest?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      Projecting your lack of empathy onto others is yet another example of your double standards, fantasy boy.

    • lprent 15.3

      The first is what they get locked up for…

      How about a bit of empathy for the victims of crime..

      Beyond what domestic criminals get after they have done their time? Why there is a difference?

      You are merely convincing me that you are a unthinking hypocrite with a obsession about punishing foreigners. In other words a pretty typical parochial bigot.

  16. If you’re an adult and have spent more than half your life on the other side of the Tasman, you should pretty much get citizenship as of right.

    Well, you don’t in this country, so why would Australia offer it? You get citizenship by meeting the criteria for citizenship and officially requesting it. If you don’t realise you’re not a citizen of the country you live in, it can bite you on the arse.

    I was bemused to discover, when I applied for a passport as a 28-year-old who’d lived in NZ for 26 years, that I wasn’t entitled to one because I wasn’t an NZer. It hadn’t occurred to me I might not be, and presumably a lot of the people who are being treated to a demonstration of “maintaining Australia’s standards” (as Turnbull calls indefinite detention without charge – and really, I can’t disagree with him on that point, it totally does maintain their typical standard) achieved the same level of ignorance about their situation. Even having been refused a passport, I just got a British one and used that – until one day I arrived back in Auckland from an overseas trip and the passport control guy asked me how come I didn’t have a return ticket. Turned out my permanent residence had lapsed. After talking my way out of that one I finally gave in and took out citizenship – good job we don’t have people like Abbott and Turnbull running things here, or I would have found myself deported to the UK.

  17. Sanctuary 17

    Personally, I think we should end the free exchange of labour between NZ and Australia, and I think we should end it for three reasons:

    Firstly at the top end, allowing Australia to cream off our best and most expensively educated young talent – particularly in crucial mid-lower level career leadership roles – simply doesn’t make sense. This exodus of leadership talent is to my mind a big cause of the lack of upward pressure from young talent that is a major contributor to the generally mediocre performance and lack of imagination displayed by NZs aging and increasingly decrepit and decadent leadership elites over the past few decades, and it affects everything from unions to business to journalism to the quality of parliamentary candidates.

    Secondly at the lower end, Australia has acted as a safety valve for the consequences of anti-worker and disastrous, ideologically driven, economic polices. Would New Zealand be the country it is today if the population was five million and unemployment in the low skill sector stood at 600,000? I doubt it. If a riot is the language of the unheard, with 600K unemployed they would have started being heard years ago in NZ!

    Thirdly, amongst all the cacophony of Key’s hollow flag debate no one is asking the serious questions about the meaning of being a proper sovereign nation that stands on it’s own two feet. A country that kowtows to the USA on foreign policy is not independent no matter what it’s flag looks like, and similarly a country that allows itself to be treated as a reservoir of talent and cheap labour is not independent – it is just a client state in the first case, and a supine colonial victim of economic imperialism in the second.

    We need to grow up, own our problems, own our country, keep our best leaders and get them to fix our economic problems rather than simply fall back on a colonial economic safety valve where our people are reduced to the status of second class gastarbeiters in Australia.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Effectively you are asking to tear up CER.

      Because the points you make do not stand on their own. CER has also been of enormous benefit to Australian business. Their banking, insurance, finance and retail sectors in particular. If you want to end the free flow of people, then you also have to undo the free flow of capital. In other words confiscate the assets of all Australian businesses here in NZ. That would get their attention.

      The problem is that CER has stood still since it was written. Either we should go the full monty and become a proper state of the Federation, and thereby gain some political traction in Canberra – or go our separate way as you suggest.

      What we have at the moment is a half-arsed muddle which serves Australian interests far more than ours.

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