Information for New Zealanders living in Australia

Anger over deportation of New Zealanders

05 February 2023
There is real anger over the deportation of New Zealanders.
There is real anger over the deportation of New Zealanders.

Oz Kiwi Chair interviewed by Crikey

05 February 2023

Oz Kiwi Chair Joanne Cox was interviewed for a feature article in Crikey about the deportation of New Zealanders from Australia. An extract of the article is reproduced below.

New Zealanders can reside indefinitely on a Special Category Visa, but many have no pathway to Australian citizenship. Unlike similar countries, Australia does offer protection from deportation to temporary visa-holders who have resided for at least 10 years. Being sentenced to 12 months or more, multiple short sentences totalling 12 months, suspended sentencing, juvenile or historical offending can lead to deportation.

Earlier this week Citizenship and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles directed Home Affairs take a “common sense” approach to the deportation of New Zealanders. From 3 March 2023 more consideration will given to a persons ties to Australia.

We thank Minister Giles for this more humane approach to visa cancellations.

The real reason New Zealanders hate Australia

03 February 2023

Maeve McGregor - Crikey

It's not a friendly rivalry. There's a good reason for New Zealander's ire towards Australia, and most Australians won't even notice.

The deep-seated reasons many New Zealanders despise Australia stem from the existence of places that have been described by human rights experts as “tantamount to torture”.

“Most Australians don't even know this because it doesn't make the news [in Australia].” said Joanne Cox, who chairs the Oz Kiwi Association, a peak advocacy body for New Zealanders living in Australia.

“In New Zealand, it's seen as racist, it's seen as hateful. New Zealanders resent being treated this way because it's in no way reciprocated by the New Zealand government.”

Cox was speaking of Australia's notorious immigration detention centres and policies. Infamous for their inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, it's often missed that New Zealand citizens have comprised the largest cohort of detained individuals since 2016.

Section 501 deportations

When the Abbott government significantly expanded section 501 of the Migration Act in late 2014 deportations of New Zealanders from Australia “just exploded”, Cox told me, with Kiwis disproportionately accounting for over half of all those targeted by the new laws.

“There have been 1,000's New Zealanders deported since the beginning of 2015. Many of them to a country they don't or no longer recognise as home, leaving them separated from their families,” she said. “I've seen people's minor offending as a child catch them up to 40 years later, people deported because of traffic offences and others for non-payment of fines. It's caused immense damage, immense cruelty.”

One of the most recent examples to surface involves a 74-year-old man with advanced dementia who was deported in December last year for property offences, despite having lived in Australia for over 50 years. Another was a man separated from his children after landing a six-month sentence for a range of trivial offending, including failure to wear a bicycle helmet.

When asked how the section 501 policy was initially received among New Zealanders, Cox said there was an element of both surprise and cynicism. Surprise given the long-standing close bilateral relationship between the two countries, but cynicism when cast against Australia's “very long and ugly history of mistreating refugees and asylum seekers”.

“To be perfectly frank,” she said, “it's clearly a racist policy — the vast majority of [New Zealanders] deported are Māori and Pacifica.”

Some experts believe the 2001 changes — which force New Zealanders to compete with other nationalities for citizenship and remove many of the special analogous rights New Zealand grants Australians living in New Zealand — were themselves motivated by racist considerations, including concerns Pacific Island migrants were using New Zealand as a “backdoor” to Australia.

ANZAC Day announcement

Whatever the truth, the Albanese government has in recent months flagged reform on both the section 501 and citizenship fronts, with more substantive announcements set for Anzac Day this year.

[The Crikey article is paywalled].


New Zealanders held in Australian Immigration detention