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There are no kiwi rapists on Christmas Island

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, November 12th, 2015 - 169 comments
Categories: australian politics, International, john key, making shit up, national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Parliament walkout

You know how Labour and the Greens are supporting all the rapists and murderers that are based on Christmas Island.  There is a slight problem.  There are none.

From Radio New Zealand:

Of the forty New Zealanders being detained on Australia’s Christmas Island, one is a criminal who has been convicted of indecently assaulting a child.

However none are rapists or murderers.

Of course to clear matters up John Key could apologise and withdraw the comment.  But despite repeated opportunities being offered yesterday in Parliament he refused to do so.  And he should do so if for no other reason that he has misled Parliament even if the very strong moral reasons for saying sorry do not persuade him.

My gut feeling is that this issue is getting away from National and they must be thinking of a way to get out of the mess they find themselves in.  The Guardian headline referred to by Anthony Robins “New Zealand female MPs thrown out of parliament after disclosing sexual assaults” seems so wrong at so many levels.  And this video of some of the female MPs talking about their personal experiences is heartbreaking.

The media is clearly swinging behind the opposition on this issue.  You just have to watch twitter to see the trend.

There are other problems for National.  The Australian detainees are not all criminals of one sort or another.  One of them, former Lance Corporal in the New Zealand army Ngati Kanohi Te Eke Haapu was detained not for any offence but because he was a member of a motorcycle gang.  While in the army he had received a number of service medals and had even on one occasion been part of a guard protecting Key.  Detaining him is wrong at many levels.

If you want to read a legal analysis of the situation then Andrew Geddis at Pundit provides this concise description.  There is one point that I would emphasise.  The retrospective tightening up of the policy meant that individuals who previously did not qualify to have their right of residence cancelled now qualify.  This is why there are so many horror stories of quadriplegics convicted of drugs offences or people convicted of shoplifting or driving offences being detained.

Strangely some in the media think that National is handling the politics of the issue well.  This article popped up at 9 pm last night, approximately 31 hours after John Key start made his comments.

Tracy Watkins said:

The acrimony over Key’s claim that the Opposition are “backing rapists” because of their advocacy for Kiwi expats facing deportation back to New Zealand after failing tough new Australian good character tests is real.

Key’s prime target, Labour MP Kelvin Davis, has particular reason to feel aggrieved. Davis, who has raised the case of the Christmas Island detainees, has been a high profile anti-sexual violence campaigner and led a 17 day hikoi for men to show they were against sexual and domestic violence.

But Key’s refusal to back down is as calculated as it is provocative.

He has forced Labour onto  the wrong side of public opinion on the Christmas Island stoush by painting them as advocates for criminals that Australia doesn’t want.

It should cut deep with Labour that it has allowed Key to outmanouvre it on this issue.

Has anyone seen evidence of this?  Any idea of what public opinion is?  National is the only party that measures public opinion regularly and Watkins may be regurgitating findings that she has been provided.  Or are the MSM cheerleaders just willing to assume that National is always on the right side of public opinion?

I believe that Watkins is wrong.  The brave actions of a number of progressive women MPs in talking publicly about the sexual abuse they have suffered and refusing to be silenced in Parliament has changed the issue.  John Key’s refusal to apologise to them has clearly shown how cynical his approach to politics and how morally bankrupt he is.

Update:  Adding in Hanswurst’s very perceptive comment from Open Mike.

Ms Watkins’ opinion piece on Stuff regarding the current uproar in parliament is a disgrace. Firstly, the entire focus for the first several paragraphs is on the opposition’s walkouts, rather than the substance of the issue (the fact that this is precisely what was predicted by several commentators on this site and elsewhere does not make it any less disgraceful for a senior journalist to adopt that framing). Secondly, she posits that Labour should have taken the view that Key adopted with his “backing the rapists” comment, and criticised him for being soft on the presumed criminals when they arrived on these shores.

This, in its turn, is a twice-craven position to adopt. For one thing, it suggests that the only acceptable view (Morally? Politically? The distinction appears to be of no significance for Watkins) is to support the right-wing desire to be indiscriminately tough on suspected criminals over universal respect for human rights. For another, she attaches the condition that Key is correct in insinuating that the majority of those New Zealanders in detention are offenders of the most serious kind. Even if we generously assume that she is not implying that he is correct in doing so, it would seem that she is basing her opinion in a purportedly serious publication on hearsay from the Prime Minister, whereas it should be her job as a journalist to provide informed opinion, and existing work by other news outlets, such as TV3, suggests that it is not difficult to obtain better information on that subject. Either she is incompetent, misleading by omission, or both. There are no other possible interpretations.

Thirdly, in stating that the opposition is on the wrong side of public opinion on the issue, she once again takes it upon herself to pronounce upon public opinion in a forum which exists precisely for the purpose of informing and influencing public opinion. This may be admissible if she were reporting on an historical issue, whose outcome is a done deal and no longer to be influenced; it may also be admissible if she were to introduce some sort of data such as a poll to make her pronouncements tangibly contestable. As it stands, however, it amounts to saying, “This is what you should think because you think this way already.” The very worst kind of begging the question.

169 comments on “There are no kiwi rapists on Christmas Island”

  1. wyndham 1

    Tracy Watkins Opinion piece on Stuff is an absolute disgrace and is a graphic illustration of media bias at it’s very worst.

    Over on Open Mike today is an excellent critique of Watkin’s scurrilous piece of work by “Hanswurst”.

    Micky, is it possible to reposition his comment to this post please ?

    [Done and I agree – MS]

    • weka 1.1

      here’s the comment/discussion /open-mike-12112015/#comment-1094375

    • Yes, an excellent analysis by Hanswurst.

      I particularly agree with the point about the role of political journalism in forming public opinion – surely any journalist is aware that that is very much a part of their function in a democracy (hence why ‘freedom of the press’ is such a vaunted principle).

      Humans are highly conservative when it comes to detecting the ‘norm’ or the ‘right opinion’. For the vast majority the main issue about any issue is to make sure you are not out on a (social) limb with what you ‘believe’ (i.e., publicly subscribe to) or how you act.

      In the modern world, the media is a crucial source of most people’s perceptions of where that normative line is drawn on any issue.

      The only systematic exception to this general trend towards ‘opinion conformity i’s when your own interests are directly at stake.

      • Olwyn 1.2.1

        I think that Key and his sycophants are busy holding that normative line. Their whole project depends upon sustained hostility toward, and contempt for, designated groups, and the idea of universal human rights (in any substantial form) is anathema to them. It is about as welcome as anti-slavery campaigners were to cotton plantation owners.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        In the modern world, the media is a crucial source of most people’s perceptions of where that normative line is drawn on any issue.

        Thankfully I don’t watch TV or listen to radio any more and thus am forced to make up my own mind.

  2. ianmac 2

    I think Amy Adams is saying it is not Key’s fault that Key was so wrong. It was Australia’s fault for giving him incorrect information. Naughty Aussies. So we are meant to believe the ever honest Key?
    Watch out! A different issue will burst out to distract us.

    • weka 2.1

      It’s the Bart defence. Santa’s Little Helper ate Johnie’s homework.

    • gsays 2.2

      hi ianmac,
      “…. it is not Key’s fault that Key was so wrong. It was Australia’s fault for giving him incorrect information. ”

      therefore the decent thing to do would be to apologize and say that you were misinformed, or at least that was how i was raised.

  3. tracey 3

    I just finished writing this when I saw Mickey’s post. It seems wrong to have another thread on the same topic, so I am putting it here

    Some people say that he never said that Kiwis on Christmas Island headed for New Zealand were rapists or murderers.Some say he did.It takes the Guardian to put up a simple clip which tells us what he said and in what context.

    To my ears he tells Parliament and therefore the people, that the reason it is taking a longer time to sort out the travel arrangements for the Christmas Island detainees bound for New Zealand is because some of them might have no passports, some are violent.

    To prove his last point he says at 16 secs in

    well it’s not actually easy because these people, some of them are rapists, some of them are child molesterers(sic), and some of them are murderers

    He lied. He misled. The debate and his comment was clearly in relation to New Zealanders on Christmas Island, not all detainees.

    The Australian government has provided Justice Minister Amy Adams, with a detailed breakdown of the list of offences by the 40 New Zealanders being held on Christmas Island .They include manslaughter, armed robbery and assaulting a child or wife with a weapon. A criminal convicted of indecently treating a child is also listed. However, none are murderers or rapists.

    Note that there are 199 people on Christmas Island. 40 are New Zealanders. But it’s ok, cos the Minister of Justice has tried to cover him by suggesting he didn’t know the breakdown as she did.

    “What we haven’t known until now one or two hours is exactly what the specific make-up was on Christmas Island

    What the Prime Minister and I have referred to, to date, has been the category of offenders we are talking about in the wider context – contains some very, very serious offenders.”

    I wonder why he and she didn’t ask for it? Clearly it as available because the Australians just handed it over (apparently AFTER the PM made stuff up)

    I confess that I don’t know what Ms Adams first sentence above means, which is probably the point. We can’t know when anyone knew anything because our Minister of Justice is unable to express herself with any clarity in that regard.

    An Official Information Act request would sort out who knew what and when, but this government has ensured that information won’t be available until at least 20 working days from the request and perhaps longer.

    Again the PM has relied on sketchy or inaccurate to deliberately skew an issue in his favour. It is also possible that the real information was available but this Government appears to have a policy of ensuring the Prime Minister knows nothing so he can say anything without being held to account.

    So, after the shitstorm broke out, did Ms Adams have a duty to request the more specific information from Australia (or did the PM have a duty to get his Office to it) before Mr Key went on Radio to publicly repeat the same factually inaccurate information? Remember his radio appearance was more than 12 hours after he made the claims.

    So, did he mislead Parliament? Of course he did, and the people. As he has been doing for over 7 years.

    And as for those pesky travel documents and passports slowing down the trip back to NZ, last night a few were flown to Perth (not Wellington).

    Let’s give Key the final word https://youtube/5rVuJ9b0IRU

      • Ross 3.1.1

        It’s Teflon John, never honest John. 🙂

        I note that the right wing DomPost haven’t been so servile to the PM today.

        Under the heading PM defending the indefensible, today’s DomPost says:

        “This week [John Key]…accused critics of the detentions of being friends of rapists and murders (sic). This was offensive and untrue. It demeans his office…Key shouldn’t defend Australian brutality”.

    • Sacha 3.2

      Being charitable, if the PM was not sure about the details he could have hedged his nastiness. Whether he knew or not, it is now clear he misled parliament, credulous ‘journalists’ and the public. Business as usual.

      • tracey 3.2.1

        That’s part of my point. These people (Ministers and PM) have a duty to get their facts straight because they know it will be immediately disseminated. In this case he chose not to or he lied. Neither should fill us with confidence in his ability to lead the country.

      • AmaKiwi 3.2.2

        @ Sasha

        Get serious. The PM’s goal was to divert attention from his government’s failure to provide an essential service expected of ALL governments: protect its citizens overseas.

        He succeeded. Everyone is talking about rape. No one is saying the role of EVERY government is to come to the aid of their citizens overseas, whether they are being held in a detention center or have been robbed or injured or need to escape from a civil or natural disaster.

    • Magisterium 3.3

      Australia has something like 30 detention centres. Why is everyone fixating on Christmas Island?

      • mickysavage 3.3.1

        It is thousands of kilometres away from Australia is one reason.

        • BM

          The distance between Perth and Sydney is well over 3000km.
          Australia is a big place.

          • Grindlebottom

            And yet they choose to detain people on some island 2650 km from Perth instead of somewhere in their “big place”.

        • Magisterium

          Yeah but if some report comes back with “oh we put all the rapists and murderers in Villawood” does that change anything?

        • Magisterium

          Yeah but if some report comes back with “oh we put all the rapists and murderers in Villawood” does that change anything?

    • Daphna 3.4

      Isn’t it time we faced the fact that national borders and immigration control are simply barbaric? That detention centers are the one of the most brutal expressions of this barbarism? And, no, the victims here are not New Zealand’s parliamentarians.


  4. Manuka AOR 4

    One of the comments under the Guardian article notes that the Key gov withdrew funding for the Christchurch Rape Centre, causing it to close. If they had an iota of caring for victims of rape, they would not have withdrawn that funding.

  5. RedLogix 5

    The Christmas Island debacle is really only the most egregious and visible of a series of discriminatory steps taken by Australian governments since Howard’s infamous 2001 residency rule changes.

    It is important to note that since 2001 there have been a series of small steps to continue to close that door. For instance up until 2012 if you worked full-time for a regional employer for two years then New Zealanders could qualify to apply for residency. Then that door too was closed to New Zealanders – but not for any other nationality.

    Another small but annoying example, is that in order to get an Australian Driving licence here in Vic, I have to relinquish my New Zealand one. Which creates a potential issue when I return to NZ eventually.

    Other kiwi workers here all tell of a series of small, bureaucratic discriminating slap-downs, that treat us as permanent residents for tax purposes – and temporary visitors for all others. And they are only getting worse over time. New Zealand workers in Australia have by far the lowest uptake of residency and citizenship, despite the fact that of all groups in Australia we are most likely to be employed, earn more and are imprisoned least.

    The direction of this unfortunate trend needs to be reversed. If it continues as it is, then within another decade it will become a major crisis between the two nations. Really the next step along the path is to revoke all SCV444 visa’s and force 620,000 New Zealanders home en-mass. This would have been an extreme thing to say a few years ago – but given the appalling situation on Christmas Island, and the spineless grovelling from Key, it no longer seems so far off the wall.

    This makes Andrew Little’s visit to Canberra next week to present to a Select Committee carry far more significance and import than most have given it.

    • tracey 5.1

      Indeed it is part of a worldwide strategy of conservative type governments to divide off, in people’s minds, those worthy and those unworthy of support. The aim is surely to move money (taxes) from those areas allowing more money (tax cuts) to stay in the hands of the “worthy”?

      These things rarely happen overnight with the stroke of a single pen or a single shot (in Western countries), they happen by stealth.

      I don’t have time but a combination of BLiPs honesty record and our Government’s erosion of privacy and democratic rights would look chilling when seen as a whole rather than the drip fed( and hidden by distractions) way it is happening.

      • AmaKiwi 5.1.1

        @ tracey


        And neither rapists nor the women they raped are “worthy.” The women were asking for it! (sarcastic)

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      Then that door too was closed to New Zealanders – but not for any other nationality.

      Because no other nationality has the same visa options as NZers.

      New Zealand workers in Australia have by far the lowest uptake of residency and citizenship, despite the fact that of all groups in Australia we are most likely to be employed, earn more and are imprisoned least.

      Because the rules for residency and citizenship are (now) the same for NZers as everyone else. The fact that there are many NZers in Australia without citizenship / residency, is precisely because they have a privilege that allows them into the country with no qualifications, which other nationalities do not have.

      It is a privilege to go to Australia, not a right. Australia can choose to put whatever restrictions they like on that privilege. If you don’t agree to their restrictions, don’t go. If you make major life decisions without being fully informed, it’s no-one else’s fault.

      • tracey 5.2.1

        Didn’t CER and subsequent legislation make it a Right Lanth?

      • RedLogix 5.2.2

        It is a privilege to go to Australia, not a right.

        Complete bullshit. The 1966 ANCERTA (commonly known as CER) agreement clearly anticipates the ‘free movement of people’ between the two nations.

        If you want to tear this up – can I propose that we also tear up the ‘free movement of capital’ between the nations – and nationalise their sodding banks?

        This craven idea that ‘Australia can do whatever it likes to New Zealanders’ and we have to remain silent about it is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start.

        And let me add one more comment – I came to Aus knowing full well what the situation was – and we always intend returning home to NZ (that is if it hasn’t been completely sold off by then). So I’m not making any kind of personal case here, but I can advocate for my fellow citizens.

        Something you apparent lack the will to do.

        • Chooky

          +100…”and nationalise their sodding banks?”…well maybe Labour should consider doing this…

          ‘Q&A: Are Australian banks really rorting New Zealanders?’


          “Some people might be surprised to find there are 25 registered banks in New Zealand.

          Of those, the big four Aussie lenders dominate, with about 90 per cent market share.

          ANZ, ASB, BNZ, and Westpac have just hauled in a collective $4.59 billion of annual net profits, hoovered out of the pockets of New Zealanders to feather nests across the Tasman.

          Some politicians believe the super-profits are “strip-mining” the economy…

          ‘Brian Gaynor: Profits for banks, loss for New Zealand’


          ….”Finally, the banks have a huge influence over the allocation of the country’s economic resources because we have a shortage of equity and a strong reliance on borrowings to fund commercial activity.

          The banks, particularly the four major Australian-owned banks, have a strong bias towards the housing market as residential mortgages now represent 50.5 per cent of total bank lending compared with 47.7 per cent at the end of 2004. By comparison, residential mortgages have fallen from 36.3 per cent to 35.2 per cent of total Australian bank lending over the same period

          …The combination of offshore borrowing and residential property lending is a prudent strategy as far as the overseas banks are concerned, from both an earnings and capital requirement point of view.

          But it is not a win-win situation as far as the New Zealand economy is concerned, particularly considering the impact on the country’s current account deficit.

        • Olwyn

          From what I have been told by others, the current arrangement makes it very hard for New Zealanders to apply for permanent residence, which is why so many kiwis find themselves in limbo, without meaningful rights on either side of the Tasman. The NZ government is deaf to the cry “I am a New Zealand citizen” and the Australian government says “you’re not our responsibility.” The old Boston Tea Party chant – “No taxation without representation” is pertinent here. If you can’t reap the benefits of being an Australian citizen or resident, why should you have to pay tax to the Australian government?

          • RedLogix

            Oh here is another example.

            Apparently there are many Kiwis in Australia who’ve been forking out premiums on various types of insurance policy (that you have to have in some cases) – but when it comes to honouring the policy – the insurance company turns it down on the grounds that the policy holder is ‘not a permanent resident’.

            Or the hassle that is commonly encountered in getting your Superannuation transferred back to NZ when you finally come home.

            • Lanthanide

              I agree NZers in Aus aren’t being well-served by various companies and organisations who are not properly accounting for their privileged position.

              Not really the government’s fault (well arguably they could try and legislate for it, but it’s a bit tricky to imagine what that legislation would be).

            • tracey

              sounds like misleading and deceptive conduct for which Australia has legislation (similar to our Fair Trading Act) – it calls for a class action methinks

        • Lanthanide

          the ‘free movement of people’ between the two nations.

          People are free to move between the two nations. That’s how New Zealanders are able – unlike every other nationality in the world – to enter Australia without any pre-conditions, and live and work there. Similarly Australians can enter New Zealand without any pre-conditions and live and work here.

          If you want to tear this up

          Nothing has been torn up.

          The privilege of late may not have as many benefits as it did in the past, but the privilege remains.

          This craven idea that ‘Australia can do whatever it likes to New Zealanders’ and we have to remain silent about it is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to start.

          i’m not trying to silence you, I’m having a discussion.

          Something you apparent lack the will to do.

          It would be nice if NZers could move to the UK or the US or Canada and become natural citizens with full rights, too. But we can’t. We used to be able to do that with Australia, but now we can’t. I’m quite happy for Sovereign countries to set their own laws and have their own relations with other countries, much as I might dislike some of their decisions. In this case I personally don’t feel the need to complain about it – I think what Australia is doing is perfectly fair.

          However, that doesn’t mean I will sit by while others (such as yourself) mis-characterise Australia’s actions.

          • tracey

            Maybe you need to define what you mean by privilege because when you juztapose it with rights you are referring to legal status. While some criteria have changed the kiwis you are talking about have the right to be in Australia, not privilege per se.

            • Lanthanide

              I linked to the TTTA down below. It actually doesn’t look like there is any “legal right” whatsoever – there is no binding treaty between NZ and Australia. It’s just a group of immigration concessions that have been agreed upon by each government.

              So, it’s a privilege, not a right.

              • Grindlebottom

                What rankles is that NZ still grants Australian citizens and residents resident visas on arrival in New Zealand. Australia used to do the same for NZ citizens and residents, but no longer does so.

                • Lanthanide

                  That’s because NZ needs and wants Aussie people working here, much more than Aussie needs or wants NZers working there.

      • tracey 5.2.3

        And if the rules were one thing when you went there, and they became something different in the interim,would that change your view?

        • RedLogix

          Yes. That is a point many keep overlooking is the retrospective and mandatory nature of these rules. The link to the Pundit article mentioned in the OP and especially the comment by ‘Ross’ below it is required reading.

          Abbott was a mad bastard for enacting them, and while they’ve kicked him out – they seem to be stuck with ugly bits of his legacy. Really there is no reason why the NZ government should not be using its considerable leverage to sort this entire situation out.

          And to clear up the status of New Zealanders in Australia.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hate to say it, but Labour let Australia screw Kiwis over too. It seems that our political parties and our civil service will not stand up for Kiwis when it comes to Australia.

            • RedLogix

              Oh yes – I wasn’t ducking that.

              Although I’d add two points; one is that the effect of the 2001 rule change has become cumulative. In the early days it affected relatively few people and there was little political incentive to pursue the matter.

              The other is that in that decade neo-liberalism was still running rampant over the conventional wisdom – and the economic levers available to influence the Australian govt remained very much off-limits.

              Which also makes Andrew Little’s trip next week to Australia a very welcome development.

        • Lanthanide

          And if the rules were one thing when you went there, and they became something different in the interim,would that change your view?

          Anyone who went there before about 2001 can easily become a citizen if they so chose. Any who have done so, won’t be affected by any recent immigration law changes.

          What I don’t like about what Australia have done however, is that they are applying this new ‘if you commit a crime we deport you’ stance to people who have moved to Australia before 2001 *and* who have lived the majority of their life in Australia. It can easily be argued that those people should have gotten citizenship, but I would argue that the recent law change should have special / more lenient provisions for those people.

          For everyone who has entered after 2001, they should have known what they were getting into and I don’t have any sympathy for them getting in trouble if they commit crimes in the country they’re going to live in.

          • tracey

            You do get that it is a legal right for kiwis to have gone, and go to Aussie, not a privilege? Just not sure if you noted my comment above when you stated it is a privilege.

            • Lanthanide

              It’s a privilege in the sense that no other nationalities in the world are afforded this same opportunity.

              Australia doesn’t *have* to allow it, since they’re a sovereign nation. They could withdraw or re-negotiate that part of the agreement with NZ.

              • tracey

                It’s a right accorded NZers at law. Your distinction is not quite right (at law)

                Until they withdraw or renegotiate it, it is a legal right afforded to NZers.

                • Lanthanide

                  To freely move between the countries.

                  Unfortunately the agreement didn’t give any more specifics as to what rights were afforded by each nationality once they moved to the other country.

                  • tracey

                    I haven’t read the agreement but nonetheless it is a Right, not a privilege

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      There is no agreement. It is a myth. There is no right. NZ has fooled ourselves over many decades into believing there is.

                    • tracey


                      That would explain why we don’t get much out of it, compared to the Aussies 😉

                      Are you saying there is no legislation which flowed from CER which gives NZers any rights vis a vis living in Australia?

              • RedLogix

                It is a right much the same as citizens of the EU have had freedom of movement under the terms of the Maastricht Treaty.

                The problem is that Australia has been unilaterally altering the terms of CER over the years with little to no negotiation. Yet the stupid thing is that NZ has considerable economic leverage over Canberra.

                We’re just too gutless and ideologically blinkered to see it.

                • Lanthanide


                  a.Rights and obligations:
                  * For stays of under three months: the only requirement for Union citizens is that they possess a valid identity document or passport. The host Member State may require the persons concerned to register their presence in the country within a reasonable and non-discriminatory period of time.

                  * For stays of over three months: the right of residence is subject to certain conditions. EU citizens and their family members — if not working — must have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State during their stay. Union citizens do not need residence permits, although Member States may require them to register with the authorities. Family members of Union citizens who are not nationals of a Member State must apply for a residence permit, valid for the duration of their stay or a five-year period.

                  * Right of permanent residence: the directive gives Union citizens the new right of permanent residence in the host Member State after a five-year period of uninterrupted legal residence, provided that an expulsion decision has not been enforced against them. This right of permanent residence is no longer subject to any conditions. The same rule applies to family members who are not nationals of a Member State and who have lived with a Union citizen for five years. The right of permanent residence is lost only in the event of more than two successive years’ absence from the host Member State.

                  Contrast with:


                  The Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (TTTA) essentially provides that Australians and New Zealanders can travel to and live and work in one another’s country without restriction. **The TTTA is not expressed in the form of any binding bilateral treaty between New Zealand and Australia, but rather is a series of immigration procedures applied by each country and underpinned by joint political support.**

                  Emphasis mine.

                  These do not look to be the same thing at all.

                  • RedLogix

                    But to ordinary people the effect is much the same. Note especially the phrase live and work in one another’s country without restriction. Well kiwis face quite a few problems in Aus that are not symmetric for Australians living in NZ.

                    And being subject to a bureaucratic whim that can see you whisked off to a concentration camp in some remote hell-hole island does strike me as a pretty big and unwelcome ‘restriction’.

                    But may I suggest you go and read Andrew Geddis’s excellent analysis if you want to get caught up in the legalese.


                    • Lanthanide

                      You can LIVE and WORK in Australia without restriction.

                      The problem is if you GET SICK or BECOME UNEMPLOYED in Australia.

                      And yes, to “ordinary people” it might seem like you get full rights in Australia, like you would in New Zealand.

                      Those people are poorly informed and when making major life decisions, should fully inform themselves first so there are no surprises.

                      Having just skimmed Andrew Geddis’ article, he doesn’t actually say anything about whether Australia are allowed to change their laws like they have. Probably because being a Sovereign nation, and not actually having signed any binding treaty on the matter, they are free to change their laws as they please.

                    • weka

                      and just bad luck for any kids involved, or adults who were immigrated there as children (i.e. they weren’t old enough to inform themselves or forsee the Australian govt making such changes).

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ weka: anyone who moved to Australia before Feb 2001 has a clear and easy path to citizenship. They should take up that opportunity to avoid the vagaries of Australian law-making.

                      Also, anyone who moves to Australia at any time and doesn’t get citizenship or permanent residence could just choose not to commit crimes. Then they’d have nothing to worry about either.

                      I did say at that I think Australia should have put in a special provision for NZers who entered the country before 2001.

                    • RedLogix


                      And being a Sovereign nation New Zealand is not obliged to remain silent and helpless when Australia makes laws which impinge on the human rights of our citizens.

                      The two nations are in fact deeply entwined on many levels, both economic and social. There are few families on either side of the Tasman without connections which span it.

                      And the NZ economy is a little bigger than the state of Victoria and of considerable value to Australia.

                      Just shoving our head up our arses and saying ‘Australia is the bigger bully and can do what it likes in this relationship’ is cowardly and wrong. And is a complete abdication of our very real responsibilities to New Zealand citizens.

                      I’ve been quietly banging on about this issue for some years now, and I predicted more than once that it was a sleeper that would one day come to prominence. But I had no way to predict that it would take on such an ugly face when it did.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ Red:
                      And I have no problem with you not liking the current situation and speaking up about it.

                      But if you read my reply at 5.2, you will see the specific issues that you talked about that I had problems with, because you are mis-representing Australia’s rights as a sovereign nation. You are saying (not suggesting) that they are deliberately targeting NZers and applying special restrictions to us that don’t apply to anyone else, when actually it’s exactly the opposite – we get privileges that other nationalities don’t, and those privileges have been wound back a little bit.

                    • RedLogix

                      we get privileges that other nationalities don’t, and those privileges have been wound back a little bit.

                      Again you use the term ‘privilege’ – which is completely wrong in terms of the ‘rights’ established under CER in 1966 and the TTTA in 1973. These were both legally binding treaties signed up by both nations that establish among many other things the right of both Australians and New Zealanders to live and work in both countries without restriction’. Which in practical terms has to include what happens if you get sick or lose your job for a period.

                      This is not a ‘privilege’ granted to us by the good grace and favour of Australia. It is a legal agreement they signed up to and one that came with substantial advantages to them.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Even if the TTTA is a binding treaty, which the Australian government website I linked to says it isn’t (and perhaps they would know?), clearly the agreement did not enumerate in detail the actual and specific rights that must be afforded to NZers living in Australia.

                      You can argue all you like what your interpretation of “live and work in one another’s country without restriction” means, but Australia aren’t bound by it.

                      Now, could the NZ government put pressure on the Australia government to be more generous to NZers? Sure they could. Should they? Much harder call to make, especially if Australia are unwilling to budge (which I suspect is the case), in which case it just creates a greater rift between the countries without actually solving anything.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well if the TTTA is not binding then neither is CER. NZ is perfectly at liberty to walk away from it anytime.

                      1. Close down ALL visas for Australians.

                      2. Send home all the Australians who came here under false pretenses and gained NZ citizenship that way. I know that’s retrospective, but doesn’t seem to hold anyone back these days.

                      3. Declare all Australian owned capital assets in NZ null and void and nationalise them ‘for their own protection.

                      And so on. That would get their attention. The point being that either these treaties are 100% binding or not. They don’t get to pick and choose which bits they want to abide by or not.

                    • Lanthanide

                      The ‘nuclear option’ as you are proposing is not really deployed in either diplomacy nor war, for good reason.

                      The point being that either these treaties are 100% binding or not.

                      Again, the ‘treaty’ doesn’t enumerate or define in detail what rights the citizens are expected to have in each other countries, unlike the EU treaty you pointed out, which is very explicit (clearly, to prevent situations like this occurring).

                  • tracey

                    Well, both describes rights.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  You are completely wrong (as was i until about six weeks ago when I researched this for an NBR column. There is no formal agreement or right at all. It’s just a myth. The TTTA does not even exist. See http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/transtasman-travel-rights-need-codification

                  • weka

                    paywalled articles don’t count as citations. If you researched for the article you must have other accessible sources.

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      Google TTTA and read all the stuff at DFAT and MFAT carefully. Then find the communique of the meeting between Kirk and Whitlam – the TTTA is referred to in a single sentence. It has no other existence.

                  • RedLogix

                    Nonetheless an agreement exists. And informal or not it carries significance and weight.

                    For example, New Zealand may not have a written, formal Constitution, but we have a series of well understood constitutional arrangements nonetheless.

                    Or another example, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) may not have the same formality as a Contract, but at law it may well hold equal or even greater weight.

                    The fact remains that since the early 70’s there has been an effective arrangement between the two countries that conferred the right for the citizens of each to live and work in each country without restraint.

                    The point on which I think we would both agree is that agreement has frayed badly in the past 15 years and is in urgent need of renegotiating and clarifying. And I would argue, that if the Australians want to renege on the free travel of people, then NZ has every reason to walk away from the free movement of capital provsions.

                    Because while the TTTA may be in the nature of an administrative agreement, the ANZCERTA umbrella under which it was conceived certainly is not.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I think you’re just grasping at straws for things that you wish were true, rather than actually facing the reality of what is true.

                      Also, the TTTA precedes the ANZCERTA.

                    • RedLogix

                      Ah yes .. it was NAFTA that was signed in 1966, and the TTTA in 1973. ANZCERTA came a decade later.

                      And the point you repeatedly ignore is that the freedom of movement provisions of these agreements cannot be meaningfully separated from the freedom of capital and trade provisions. Why would either nation have signed up for one and not the other?

                      If you want to claim one is only a ‘privilege’ that can be withdrawn at any time – then logically so can the other.

                      Now go tell the four big Australian banks that they have no legal ‘right’ to exist in New Zealand. Let me know how you get on.

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      FFS redlogix, there are no freedom of movement processions in CER or the earlier 1966 FTA. There never was any “TTTA” – it was mentioned once in a single sentence in a single communique: there is no other record of it. The point Lanth and I are trying to make is that naive NZ has believed there is a “right” to live in Auatralia but there never has been. In constant, the free trade and other provisions of CER are all clearly written down in signed treaties.

                    • RedLogix


                      Like so many right wingers you mistake what is written down in legal form – for reality.

                      You are correct that technically the TTTA is a pretty low level administrative agreement.

                      But that is not the reality of the 620,000 New Zealanders who live and work in Australia under a SCV444. They made that move in the realistic expectation that they had a right to do so, that they would be treated fairly and equally alongside the other Australians they lived and worked with. And especially their human rights would be the same as if they still lived in New Zealand.

                      Are you arguing that because of the lack of a binding agreement, that Australia is free to treat New Zealanders however it likes? That it can diminish and erode our human rights – and that New Zealand must remain silent on this?

                      Or is it possible that in the real world, the lives and families of all these people have an ethical precedence over the legalese you are so impressed by?

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      That Australia “can” abuse the human rights of New Zealanders seems to an objective fact, because it is.
                      That it “may” under international law also seems to be the case, given there is no formal agreement on this point.
                      On the question of whether it “should” would be where you and I start agreeing.

      • Agent Orange 5.2.4

        in the laste 1980’s early 1990’s the joke was on the Aussies, Thusands od New Zealanders went to the Gold Coast and other places and were immediately granted the dole, then there were the iimigrants to NZ who couldn’t get tinto Australia, but got NZ residency and almost immediately went to Australia through the back door. This is why the Australians closed the loophole and we are where we are today.No automatic right to the dole, no automatic right to other benefitsincluding citizenship.

        • RedLogix

          This is the great Aussie dole-bludger myth.

          While it is always true that in any universal system there will be a small minority who abuse it – the vast majority of kiwis who go to Australia go there to do better. Either because of the bigger and better opportunities (which is my reason) or because the pay was better (which I’m not turning down either).

          But for most low-skilled migrants there is always a period after you arrive where work is hard to come by or precarious. Spending a period on a benefit is pretty common. But I will absolutely guarantee you that ALL of those ‘bludgers’ you are fantasising about from the 80’s and 90’s – if they are still here in Aus, then they’ve gone on to good jobs or built their own businesses.

          The migrant using NZ as a loophole was a racist response directly from Howard due to an influx of Fijian Indians after the first of the major coups back then. If you want to defend that – be my guest.

        • weka

          I was working and travelling in Oz in 1988 and I’m pretty sure recent arrival NZers couldn’t get the dole then, there was something like a 6 month stand down.

    • tracey 7.1

      I wonder what the “better deal” is he has secured for the detainees?

      Of course he stands by his lies. If he repeats them often enough they become his truths, And we all saw how little time it took for his supporters to swallow them.

    • RedLogix 7.2

      And do you agree with him?

    • Key is demonstrating really muddled thinking here.

      He is saying that he was “absolutely correct” in saying, in an accusatory manner, that Labour was ‘backing’ rapists, etc. and then, in effect, says he was too.

      Key seems to think that by saying ‘I’m backing New Zealanders’ and ‘I’m concerned about protecting New Zealanders’ that no-one will therefore notice that he is also saying he has ‘backed’ the detainees who he is accusing opposition MPs of also backing.

      It makes no sense.

      • Lanthanide 7.3.1


      • RedLogix 7.3.2

        And you could argue that he is effectively saying that these detainees are NOT New Zealanders. In other words he is effectively labeling them as stateless, neither Australian nor New Zealanders.

        In which case why is he expediting their migration into NZ?

  6. Lucy 8

    Has anyone noticed that the new law came in when the supply of refugees to Serco’s detention centers were drying up. Serco is in no hurry to send their new cash cows back to NZ. In business and now apparently in new laws made you need to follow the money.

  7. plumington 9

    What interests me is the incarceration without due cause or trial
    If the detainees were of a religious bias let’s say Jewish a different angle of reporting would be out there?

    • tracey 9.1

      Habeus Corpus and all that.

    • Chooky 9.2

      +100 plumington…this really is the crux of it … ” incarceration without due cause or trial”

      …racism…and there would be hell to pay if they were Jewish…we would NEVER hear the end of it!….but if it is New Zealand Maori then it is all OK by the Australian government, Serco and John Key

      …this is racism and our PM is fueling it by catagorising them as rapists and murderers

      …where is Susan Devoy?

  8. As much as I admire our female MP’s for confronting John Key and his hideous, callous use of the emotional trigger that is the mention of sex crimes or murder they allowed the bigger issue to go undiscussed!

    It’s Not About Justice For Rapists, Murderers Or Paedophiles. It’s About Human Rights For All!

    • weka 10.1

      don’t know where you’ve been but I’ve been seeing discussion about the human rights issues in the past few days.

      • travellerev 10.1.1

        What should have been said by every Opposition MP including the female ones is:

        “We know what you are trying to do but we are not going to allow you to manipulate us with the dead cat on the table. We will not allow you to lure us into emotional responses to your vile, vicious demeaning comments.

        This is not about rapists, pedophiles or murderers. This is about human rights and that is what we are going to hold you too!”

        Instead they made it about exactly that!

        I am a female, I have been indecently assaulted so I know what that means and this was not the moment to get into that. Now we have a stupid stand off and John Key has what he wanted: “The women were sooo emotional!”

        He played a nasty game of bait and switch and now it is impossible to get back to what this really is all about: Human rights and people indefinitely in camps far away run by an uncountable corporation outside of the public I. Much like the Russian Gulags and German concentration camps.

        Think about that as you also ponder that Australia and New Zealand will be sharing all “criminal” info they can gather through GCSB about all of us!

        • weka

          “and now it is impossible to get back to what this really is all about:”

          I disagree. This is also about rape culture, dirty politics, the basic functioning of parliament and the fact that John Key as PM of NZ is spearheading the worst of cultural shifts we’ve seen since the 80s. Christmas Island is part of that for sure, a very important part of it. The dynamics at play with NZers being detained are very similar to the dynamics that have unfolded in parliament. It’s about misuse of power and dehumanisation and should be fought on whatever front it appears, whether that’s rape culture or other human rights issues such as being illegally detained.

          “The women were sooo emotional!”

          You’re the first person I’ve seen say that.

          • travellerev

            The issue that needed to be discussed was the human rights issue of people being incarcerated indefinitely at the whim of a government.

            John Key’s dead cat on the table was disgusting and shows the kind of culture we live in to be sure but the response should have been: “Fuck you and your dead cat, we will continue to hold you and your lack of help of Kiwi’s treated inhumanly to account.”

            Next they should have said: “If you want to discuss supporting rapists, pedophiles and murderers, table it because we have a couple of questions about how you have been supporting, white washing and condoning sexual deviants too!”

            That would have shown political and strategic accumen! Instead they went for the: “I’m a victim and I want John Key to apologize for what he said because as a victim I could not possible be accused of supporting rapists, pedophiles and murderers.”

            And were were the male MP’s of the opposition in all this?

            Poor politics, poor strategic thinking and a very emotional response to what was essentially psychopathic baiting of the lowest, vilest kind!

            • weka

              they pretty much DID say “human rights for detainees” then “John Key is a misogynistic arsehole who wants to score political points at the expense of survivors of sexual assault”.

              Next they should have said: “If you want to discuss supporting rapists, pedophiles and murderers, table it because we have a couple of questions about how you have been supporting, white washing and condoning sexual deviants too!”

              I’m seeing a lot of comments of what they should have said, but watching Question Time and a few of the speeches over those two days it was obvious that that kind of strategy was just going to drop into a hole and disappear. The whole point was that Key fucked up majorly and that is exactly the time to keep the pressure on because he fucked up over such an important issue. You can no longer play bullshit political games with rape culture in Parliament because it’s 2015 and there are women who still stand up and tell you off. There is no putting that on the back burner.

              We will get back to the issue of the detainees, I’ve seen nothing from the 3 opposition parties that in any way suggests that Christmas Island is not a priority.

              None of the women who spoke up portrayed themselves as a victim. They were all speaking as survivors.

              • Demanding an apology for a political bait is taking it. Simple! He got the opposition where he wanted them. Ineffective as usual!

                • weka

                  They didn’t demand an apology for political bait, they demanded an apology for Key bringing the House into disrepute and for disrespecting survivors of sexual abuse especially women. I’m surprised you can’t see that.

                  It’s not been ineffective either. I know that some people find this hard to get, but the GP especially is about change, and it’s a radical radical act for multiple women MPs to stand up in parliament and state they are survivors of sexual assault and demand an apology from the PM. That’s an historic moment that will far outlast Key and will affect how we collectively address rape culture.

                  Key definitely doesn’t have the opposition where he wants them, that’s why he used the dead cat tactic in the first place. It doesn’t appear to be working out for him.

                  • I’m sure the women are making a point but the discussion about why John Key is not actually making sure that the human rights of those detained on Christmas Island are respected is gone walkabouts! Which is what he wanted!

                    And while some of the female MP’s walked out most of them where kicked out like naughty children.

                    AND I only saw 2 men with the group. Where were the others?

                    One question. Are you male or female?

                    • weka

                      the discussion hasn’t gone walk about, and I doubt very much that Key wanted the the discussion gone at the cost he is paying. I don’t actually give a flying fuck about what Key wants or doesn’t want, I do care about what’s right. In this instance it was right to stand up to his bullshit and call him on it. far too important to sideline.

              • Heather Grimwood

                ” They were all speaking as survivors”…yes indeed, that’s why their action was so powerful.

            • Chooky

              again +100%…very well put travellerev… the issue was subverted into a focus on one about the women MPs and how jonkey had insulted them…but he subverted the issue first by blaming the detainees and arguing they were rapists, murderers and child sex offenders

              “The issue that needed to be discussed was the human rights issue of people being incarcerated indefinitely at the whim of a government.”

              ….”Next they should have said: “If you want to discuss supporting rapists, pedophiles and murderers, table it because we have a couple of questions about how you have been supporting, white washing and condoning sexual deviants too!”

            • Smilin

              Bringing it home to National corp and its own ranks in question suppressed at present .And what was not to be declared to the public in his discussions with his Aussie counterpart.
              We certainly now know what Key gave away in those discussions .

    • tracey 10.2

      except it has been discussed.

    • Hayden 10.3

      Yeah, but it’s a bit difficult when you get accused of “backing rapists” every time you bring it up.

    • Chooky 10.4

      +100 travellerev

    • Chooky 10.5

      This is a Human Rights issue. It should be taken before United Nations, the way the Palestinians have taken their case:

      ‘So who exactly is on Christmas Island?’


      ……so of the NZers – how many were rapists or murders?


      That’s right, there were no NZ rapists or murders, so Key’s comments aren’t just grossly offensive, they are also wrong.

      Turns out that 128 of the 199 are not serious offenders and 86 have no convictions at all.

      Let’s remember – all of these prisoners have served their full sentence in Australia. These are people who have done their time but due to new controversial and retrospective terror laws – they are now being renditioned to an Island 3 times as far from Australia as the Campbell Islands are from NZ!

      They are being beaten, abused and kept in conditions that breach their human rights and their ability to contact legal representation is made purposely difficult.

      Then we have other cases of New Zealanders on the Australian mainland being kept in prison awaiting renditioning to Christmas Island like the Prime Minister’s former military bodyguard in Afghanistan. In that outrageous case the NZer hasn’t even committed a crime!

      By falsely screaming ‘rapists, child molesters and murderers’, Key is trying to tempt the lesser angels of our nature to take over rather than see his inaction towards human rights abuses for the spinelessness it really is…

      • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 10.5.1

        Thanks Chooky. It is an abuse of human rights. John Key threw the vile dead cat accusation that ‘Labour backs rapists’ in our Parliament because it was a manipulative way to divert attention. However opposing MPs chose to respond -John was going to divert the debate away from the issue of the human rights of detainees.

        Look at the videos of John Key in Parliament -you can see him ‘switch’ -he goes from answering questions in a reasonable human way to throwing the biggest insult he could find. Watch him in the minutes that follow -the gloating on his face as the debate degenerates into a farce and he successfully avoids taking responsibility for honestly answering questions about what he is doing to protect the human rights of detainees.

        John probably knew that as soon as he got away with his insult without being brought into line by the Speaker that his dead cat tactic would be successful. If the opposition had done nothing and tried to continue the debate -then they would appear weak -especially as John would have been free to continue with diversionary insults. If the opposition demanded an apology, which they did, then attention is successfully diverted.

        In comparison with John’s devious and manipulative behaviour. Look at the other key players in this drama. Kelvin Davis after weeks/months of non-stop activism on the behalf of detainees just wanted to face John Key and give him a direct message. Maybe the way he did it, broke the unwritten rules of parliament, but you can see from his behaviour that this came from a resolute desire to stand up for the human rights of detainees. Look at the woman in parliament who had been insulted (note the insult was to anybody who identifies themselves as Labour -at its widest this is hundreds of thousands of voters). You can see the real pain John has inflicted. An apology should be given.

        The fact that John Key will not apologise shows the real character of the man. It shows his moral compass.

        In some ways the videos are the most damming. Humans are good at making social judgements. Many in New Zealand have been caught up in the cult of John Key -they have lost the ability to make a judgement. But more neutral observers -such as overseas media can easily see how John Key has over stepped the mark.

        • mac1

          Well said. The marked change in Key’s behaviour from reasonable to unreasonable and then doing it again showed calculated intent, pre-planned and not fully in sync with the developments in the house. His response was a sign of malice aforethought.

          A bit like a person wanting to tell a joke and using any opportunity to get their story in- Key however was not joking and his malice was well challenged by our women MPs. I am proud of them.

  9. Colonial Viper 11

    And if there were Kiwi rapists and murderers on Christmas Island, would the Labour Party back their rights for fair and humane treatment in the face of media glare?

    • tracey 11.1

      It seems they did when they didn’t know either way. Unless you are suggesting Kelvin Davis is not part of the Labour party and has been supporting the detainees against the Party’s wishes?

    • weka 11.2

      Prety sure Labour’s position on Christmas Island is they want human rights respected for all NZers there. Previous convictions are irrelevant.

    • AmaKiwi 11.3

      We did the crime. We served our time. Now we want to put it behind us and move on.

      That’s what rehabilitative justice is about. Or do you prefer us as career criminals?

  10. Olwyn 12

    Sometime in late September/early October, while Turnbull was enjoying the early stages of his honeymoon, and the Australian press was bleating look how liberal, how centrist, what a friend of the arts, etc, he is, it was trumpeted that Nauru was to close, and a great “Hurrah!” invited – no mention whatsoever of Christmas Island.

  11. KS 13

    [RL: Deleted. Zero tolerance for idiocy on this thread.]

  12. savenz 14

    The government is a joke.

    The media not reporting that there are not rapists or murderers and therefore John Key is wrong is a joke. MSM pretending it is Labour’s fault – a joke!

    John Key, the speaker etc are all a joke.

    The worm is turning and the public have had enough.

    • tracey 14.1

      he Independent, The Guardian and The Telegraph are among UK newspapers to have covered the uproar, focusing on the ejection and walkout of female MPs after speaking of their sexual assault experiences.

      The Daily Mail said female MPs had been “silenced and EJECTED from New Zealand’s parliament as they stand up – many for the first time – to reveal they have been victims of sexual violence”.

      In the US, media organisations including Time, NBC News, The Atlantic and NPR have reported on Key’s comments and the MPs’ protest

      reported on Stuff

      • Daniel Cale 14.1.1

        [RL: Deleted. On the Open Mike thread you have a warning about this idiocy. A ban is imminent.]

    • weka 14.2

      “The media not reporting that there are not rapists or murderers and therefore John Key is wrong is a joke. MSM pretending it is Labour’s fault – a joke!”

      Not sure what you mean by that, but looking at the MSM this morning I don’t see them siding with Key or blaming Labour.

      3 articles on Stuff world FP, one is Key stands by his statements but the other two are sympathetic to the left wing position.

      • savenz 14.2.1

        I was talking about the attitude of the local media i.e.

        Strangely some in the media think that National is handling the politics of the issue well. This article popped up at 9 pm last night, approximately 31 hours after John Key start made his comments.

        I don’t agree with that the Natz are handling it right at all, in fact I think the opposite is happening and people have had enough of this Natz bias and it is a serious issue which is why it is being reported overseas.

        • weka

          you’ll have to link. There’s some support for National/Key but in general I would say most of the coverage has been of the issues without following Key’s line.

  13. Ross 15

    It’s worth noting that Key made a joke about Phillip Smith while he was on the run in Chile.


    Fancy that, John Key making a joke about a murderer and child molester! There seems to be a pattern here.

  14. greywarshark 16

    These women are standing for the human rights of respect for all. The fraternity of money and power that decide NZ direction on morals lacks that respect. And if you commit crimes of human frailty you are treated variously by the fraternity. If you happen to be brown you are likely to be guilty of something so they feel justified on arresting you if they feel like it. Example the Maori ex-solder who has friends in a motorcycle club which is not illegal.

    If you are guilty of stealing and rorting for financial gain you are treated with sadness if you get caught but not with much opprobrium.

    But if you are a woman you automatically don’t have that respect.
    July 2011 – NZ EMA boss Alasdair Thompson (Employers and Manufacturers)
    Women take more sick leave than men,” Thompson told reporter Mihirangi Forbes. “I know it’s an awful thing to say, but it’s true.”

    Employers and Manufacturers Association chief Thompson is sticking by his claim the gender pay gap is due to women having monthly “sick problems”, babies and needing to take extra leave.

    Thompson stormed off in mid-interview twice during the programme, taking offense to the reporter’s questions about his comments. He also refused to provide documentation of his claims that women’s menstruation is affecting their productivity.
    (Note this was an interview on Campbell Live involving Mihirangi Forbes, and both are now not working for television.)

    To Newtalk ZB – “Let me get down to tin tacks. The fact is women have babies. They take time out of their careers.
    “Look at who takes the most sick leave. Women do, in general, why? Because once a month they have sick problems. Not all women, but some do they have children they have to take time off to go home and take leave of…

    NBR reports prompted these responses from the fraternity or their hangers-on.
    “Hyenas get their man. Board utterly gutless,” said one NBR reader, while another reader said “Very disappointing. Another example of PC gone mad.”

    “He was sacked because his views were offensive to some, sounds like discrimination to me,” said another.

    ACT’s Roger Douglas has joined the debate saying it’s a sad day for free speech when people can be hounded from their jobs simply for expressing controversial views.

    “Mr Thompson’s views were clearly offensive to many, but if that is grounds for dismissing him, we may as well become an Iran. As Salman Rushdie has said, freedom of speech is meaningless if it doesn’t include the right to cause offence.

    “Those who screeched for Mr Thompson’s head and who are now congratulating themselves on their latest trophy would do well to remember Voltaire’s ‘I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it,’” Sir Roger said.

    Not much respect for ordinary people in this lot. Explains much I think.

  15. weka 17

    Psycho Milt’s very good comment on what the political trans-tasman issues are re Christmas Island and the general uselessness of our PM,

    Key can’t do much to counter Rudd giving us Abbott. And the plight of NZers in Oz since 2001 hadn’t been high on any politicians’ agenda.

    First, this isn’t about “the plight of NZers in Oz since 2001,” it’s quite specifically about the Australian government detaining NZ citizens indefinitely without charge, including sending some of them to a concentration camp. Trying to obfuscate the issue doesn’t help.

    Second, Key can’t do much, but that isn’t the same thing as saying he can’t do anything. “I can’t do much, therefore I’ll do nothing” isn’t the motto a government should adopt, especially when it comes to protecting the rights of the people it supposedly represents. In this case, at the point the NZ government knew NZ citizens were being detained indefinitely without charge, it should have had people in touch with the Aus govt to point out that it’s a hostile act, and if it continues they can expect to get their ambassador called in, some very unpleasant media coverage and, in the case of putting people in a concentration camp, a formal complaint to the United Nations. Instead, Key’s government has left things until it’s too late to feign outrage, mainly because it’s comprised of Dilbert CEOs. Now he has to shout about supporting rapists, like some kind of Kiwiblog nutcase commenter.


    • tracey 17.1

      Thanks for the repost weka

      I still think that Key has a deal with Turnbull which is Turnbull holds them til Adams has presented urgent legislation to our parliament

      • weka 17.1.1

        “til Adams has presented urgent legislation to our parliament”

        Sorry, haven’t been following that. Can you link to a previous comment?

        • tracey

          Open mike 12/11/2015

          Also Green Party statement about Human Rights and other stuff


          “n a statement on Friday, Adams said the Government recognised “there was a gap”.

          “At the moment there is no scheme for monitoring all offenders who are deported after completing their sentence overseas.”

          Some law changes are also in the works that would allow supervision of criminal deportees equivalent to parole conditions.

          “It’s the Government’s intention that all criminals being deported should be subject to the same sort of conditions that they would likely to be subject to if they came out of a New Zealand prison.”
          19 October 2015

          BTW, that last link shows a breakdown of NZers by Detention Centre in Australia. So for about 4 weeks Key has known that only 4 NZers were on Christmas Island

          “* As of September 30, there were 196 New Zealanders in immigration detention centres in Australia, including about 40 in the notorious Christmas Island centre. This included 174 men and 21 women.”

          And from May 2015 (6 months ago)

          “Adams said the sharing of criminal information between the two countries had been poor, but she was confident an agreement would soon be reached with officials travelling between countries to flesh out how it would work.

          When a register of deported offenders was in place, it would not only allow monitoring but also assist in ensuring access to support services such as Work and Income.

          Once that was secured a law change would be needed to address how to place conditions on serious offenders that had not been through the New Zealand justice system.

          Questioned about the ethics of sending people away from their families, Adams declined to comment.”

          So Adams has had SIX MONTHS to get decent information from the Aussies on who might be coming here… and wants is to believe she only got it a few hours ago?

    • Puddleglum 17.2

      Yes, a very good analysis by Psycho Milt.

      And that point about detention without charge needs repeated emphasis.

  16. Daniel Cale 18

    There is a fundamental problem with the line you’re running here. Labour and the Greens have not just been commenting on Kiwi’s on Christmas Island, but about the detainees generally. This has been a coordinated attack to coincide with Australia’s position on the UN HR Committee, and to undermine John Key’s popularity (which was boosted by comments from Malcolm Turnbull). John Key’s comments were not simply directed at Kiwi’s in detention, but about the population of detainees generally. Most people seem to get that.

    • greywarshark 18.1

      Daniel Cale
      You appear when there is this emotional rape comment. You seem quite exercised by the whole matter, with spurious arguments about it. Is this an exercise for some journalism course, or perhaps you have been assigned by one of the Parties to confront the outrage, or perhaps by Mr Key’s minders or by his PR matrix? Or do you see yourself as being the fox in the henhouse?

    • mickysavage 18.2

      Key has done all of the damage all by himself.

    • Foreign waka 18.3

      Daniel, it is true that the wider public is agreeable ofhaving criminals put behind bars. However, the immigration detention center is not a prison but a holding place for refugees, asylum seekers, deportees (people who have done time and have been released but are not allowed to stay).
      The former are women and children, elderly, people who fled from suppression (little did they know).
      Yes, there are criminals that have served time but none of them have been put there INSTEAD of prison. By use of the center as a make shift prison in conjunction with a holding center for people whose immigration status needs to be cleared up, then it makes things much much worse. It would be an admission that criminals have been KNOWINGLY put into the same place as vulnerable women, children, elderly, the sick and infirm. This would be a breach of human rights.
      It is too convenient to focus on the handful and forget about the thousands held without a proper process, care and certainty of a future. This we should lament.
      Where is the protest, the defense of having the people treated properly. Where does NZ stand on human rights?

  17. Tracey 19

    The fundamental problem with your line is that it ignores that the PM deliberately misled the public. From your comment you cannot have actually listened to what Key said and in response to what.

    Read my comment earlier in the day abovr the clip lf Key promising to always be honet where I addressed tbis

    • Sabine 19.1

      they will not read it, Tracey, as the truth would be most inconvenient.

      It is not about human rights being breached, and people being incarcerated with out recourse to a lawyer, a trial, and access to family and friends for support.
      It is not about the vilest insults being screamed and screeched by a Prime Minister.
      It is not about insulting victims of sexual assault and rape.
      It is not about upholding the rule of law and due course.
      It is not about one country informing another country about the whereabouts of their citizens and their treatment in detention.

      It is about the popularity of the Prime Minister who can’t be asked to do his job, and who if asked will insult to the deepest the person asking a question.

      It is about the popularity of the Prime Minister who will be defended by the impartial Speaker of the house to the point of making a mockery of parliamentary rules.

      It is about the popularity of the Prime Minister , and nothing will make that Prime Minister more popular in certain parts of the population then by throwing out some uppity women who have the audacity of saying, NO you will not add insult to injury, and as a survivor or rape and assault i want and excuse for your atrocious and unprofessional behavior.

      It was never, ever about protecting the human rights and the dignity of the people, but always only about protecting the ‘popularity’ of Dear Leader. All Hail.

    • Daniel Cale 19.2

      I not only heard Key’s comment, I have read it word for word. The context of Tuesday’s question time, and the preceding actions by Labour MP’s in particular made the context very clear.

  18. stever 20



    it will be interesting to see if the UK govt does much…even so…this brings out the harshness of the Aus policy.

    • Chooky 20.1

      interesting!…I wonder how many Brits are caught up in this?…seems like a very minor offence he has to go back to Britain for …and he has been in Australia since aged one!( obviously badly brought up)

      I wonder ….is anyone now motivated to tote up the offenses Australians have committed overseas in NZ or Britain for example…and maybe they should be rounded up….detained courtesy of Serco …then after several months of roughings up and ill treatment ….sent back to Australia pronto….or alternatively as prisoner exchange?!

      To go one step further…all this shows is that the police have really got to get onto the big white collar bankster criminals that are purloining and defrauding countries by the billions

      Might I suggest …particular attention should be paid to Australian bankers …also Australians driving habits ….also what they smoke …and their bad language…whom they associate with ( and it better not be bikers!)…also their table manners

      ….one NZer should be put on the tail of every Australian to watch for misdemeanors to report to the police ….and one lawyer each should be allocated to make sure the charges stick

      …actually there are quite a few Australians in New Zealand masquerading as New Zealanders….we need a little list as the Mikado said

  19. emergency mike 21


    “Key said he had had to deal with “comments and abuse hurled at me”, and claimed he was the only person standing up for victims of crime.”

    Yet another classic sociopathic manipulation technique used by John Key. I’m the victim here, I’m offended. Muddy the emotional waters.

    Given that women’s refuges have closed under his watch due to lack of funding, and that his govt has cutting funding to prevention of sexual violence despite experts and reviews pleading for increases, I’m not sure our money trading PM ackshully knows what he’s talking about when he says he is ‘the only person standing up for victims’.

    Nah, he’s just plain lying.

  20. papa tuanuku 22

    the left needs to be proactive. we’ve passed apology time. its resign time.

    • Chooky 22.1

      +100 “its resign time”…..agreed…this has all the hallmarks of victim blaming lies, fascism

      • Tricledrown 22.1.1

        The behaviour of a sociopath never apologising going on the attack instead.
        John Key exhibits all the markers of a Sociopath.

  21. Mike the Savage One 23

    The depressing truth is that most in the public do not care that much for people who have records of convictions, and the MSM with their incessant appetite for reporting on horrific crimes and on details covered in leading court cases have a lot to answer for this. I hear too often how people make nasty comments about people that got into trouble with the law, to a level where they ended up in prison.

    The Sensible Sentencing Trust has also done its bit to nourish hostile sentiment towards offenders of whatever kind.

    So I fear that the PM and his party have done some polling and that they know that this is not a priority matter for most. Human rights are simply not a priority for too many people, who are rather concerned they get good services and products for the money they pay by living out their consumerist lifestyles.

    As for the lack of rapists on Christmas Island, we have heard it often enough, how the government presents information that is not what it seems, or that is not seldom based on untrue data. They simply make things up all the time, and Key is the master in this, leading by poor example.

    Expect no significant improvement in this, as Key sticks to his BS, no matter what. There may be a glimmer of hope though, as such ones like Paddy Gower are now taking this very serious. He seems to be rather furious at the government and Key for lying and misleading the public, as his bit on the TV3 news tonight showed.

    When Gower et al start losing faith in their so often praised Prime Minister and interview candidate, then the government does have some reason to to worry.

  22. NZSage 24

    An interesting analogy is made on the comments section of this website: http://tinyurl.com/ohm43wj

    “Even Australia went to the ends of the earth to stand up for Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine being treated humanely in Indonesia, and they were obviously guilty.”

    • RedLogix 24.1

      Yes I know “izogi” who made that comment from a completely different context. An extremely competent, balanced and perceptive young man whom I hold in a great deal of respect.

  23. Craig H 25

    Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t specifically outlaw ex post facto laws, which is basically what this was.

  24. Brutus Iscariot 26

    “There are no kiwi rapists on Christmas Island”

    Takes the term “ornithology” to a new level.

  25. Detrie 27

    Found this piece related to the NZ ex-soldier detained in Perth, specifically the lawless motor cycle ‘gang’ he belonged to that got him detained without trial or appeal. The offending Motor Cycle Club rules include:
    ● Conducting random drug tests of members who are kicked out if they return two positive samples;
    ● Requiring members to have jobs or businesses and pay weekly membership fees;
    ● NOT involved in any kind of organised crime.

    Yet it seems the WA police have enforcement policies akin to the Nazis, that’s driving many young people to actually join the club. The evidence suggests Australia is becoming a factious state where human rights abuses of citizens and non-citizens is condoned by parliament and new laws. Considering Australia’s own history, somewhat ironic [and sad].

  26. Smilin 28

    I suppose this is what we get as a nation when the uneducated rich steal their moral compass from the wrong people, when they are in such a hurry to expose their ignorance of life for political gain ,shame on you Key for your misogynistic ignorant contrived rhetoric
    Its not about scoring points its about exposing a deeply flawed process that Australia is being internationally condemned for and that we as Kiwis are being dealt to by
    Its a far greater problem than your little piece of CT pr BS ignorantly tried to sell us
    Frankly Key do us a favour and resign and or call an election or we fuckin will somehow

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