Information for New Zealanders living in Australia

Dutton vows to continue deportations

20 July 2018
Peter Dutton vows to continue deportations following criticism from Andrew Little.
Peter Dutton vows to continue deportations following criticism from Andrew Little.

Peter Dutton vows to continue deportations

20 July 2018

Lucy Bennett - NZ Herald

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has addressed the stoush between himself and Justice Minister Andrew Little, saying he makes no apology for deporting criminals and will continue to do so.

He did not directly address an issue central to Little's criticism this week of Australia's deportation policy, the good character test under which people can be deported arbitrarily, which Little called the grounds "amorphous and tenuous".

Speaking at a press conference in Australia today, Dutton was asked about Little's comments.

"I'm no friend of criminals, let's be very clear about it ... and I'm going to continue to do it, and the law is very clear. Advertisement

"If you're not an Australian citizen and you've committed an offence which puts you outside the conditions of your visa or puts you in breach of the Migration Act, you stand to have your visa cancelled. I don't make any apology for that," Dutton said.

Little, who appeared on the ABC's Foreign Correspondent programme this week along with Foreign Affairs and acting Prime Minister Winston Peters, was critical of Australia's deportation policies, saying there appeared to be a "venal, political strain" to them and "certainly not consistent with any humanitarian ideals that I thought both countries once shared".

Speaking to Australian radio yesterday, Dutton said Little might want to "reflect a little more" on the transtasman relationship.

"There's a lot that we do for New Zealand ... We're a big land mass between them and boats coming from Indonesia and Southeast Asia," Dutton said.

"New Zealand don't contribute really anything to the defence effort that we've got where we're trying to surveil boats that might be on their way to New Zealand.

"So I hope that Andrew Little reflects a little more on the relationship between Australia and New Zealand where we do a lot of the heavy lifting. We intercept boats which stop them from making their way to New Zealand.

"There's a lot to this relationship and I was really disappointed in Mr Little's comments during the week. I hope that he doesn't repeat them," Dutton said.

Little said yesterday he wasn't sure which comments Dutton was referring to.

Read the NZ Hearald article.