The Australian detention and deportation of Kiwis is a nasty business. The latest example in The Herald this morning is a shocker:
Australia dumps tetraplegic
Australia extradites wheelchair-bound Kiwi under controversial new law.
A tetraplegic sent to New Zealand after 36 years living across the Tasman is the latest victim of Australia’s tough new immigration laws.
The 56-year-old New Zealander, who asked to be identified only as “Paul”, said the Australian Government “dumped me at Auckland Airport” three weeks ago. He has no friends or family here and landed with only $200 and a voucher for a week’s accommodation.
The case is a fresh embarrassment over the treatment of New Zealand-born convicted criminals by Australia.It comes as Prime Minister John Key and his Australian counterpart met in Auckland yesterday when Turnbull described the transtasman neighbours as “family”. …
And what “crime” justified this treatment?
Paul – who is wheelchair bound but has some feeling in his arms – said he was jailed twice after being caught self-medicating with controlled painkillers.
This comes 3 weeks after John Key’s diplomatic efforts:
John Key gives Australia ‘blunt message’ over deportations
Mr Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully met Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in New York to raise the issue that’s causing increasing concern in New Zealand.
“I had a chat with Julie about it and I was pretty blunt,” Mr Key told Radio New Zealand.
“I said there’s a special relationship between New Zealand and Australia and you challenge that, to a degree, when you see New Zealanders being treated in this way.”
And just yesterday:
Key pleads Kiwis’ case, Turnbull says ‘no’; diplomatic dance goes through the motions
Newly-appointed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrived in New Zealand where he would receive a “stern word” from our Prime Minister John Key, on the treatment of New Zealanders in their country.
Almost nothing happened.
So much for “family”. Apart from the photo ops and the mutual admiration society, our actual influence with Australia is zero.