New Zealand’s acting prime minister has spoken out against their closest neighbour Australia by asking the government to release a teenager under immigration detention from New Zealand.
Winston Peters who is acting Prime Minister while prime minister Jacinda Ardern is on maternity said that Australia wasn’t living up to its obligation as a signatory to the UN Convention by detaining a 17-year-old boy from New Zealand. He has been in detention since March and since then the Australian Border Force hasn’t indicated the reason behind his detention of when he would be freed.
Source: Getty Images
“This person is regarded as a child or a minor, and I’m just reminding the Australians – you’re a signatory, live up to it,” Peters said
“They are clearly in breach of it. There’s no complication. They know that, we know that.”
The number of deportation of foreign nationals on the grounds of character have has soared since the huge changes in Australia’s Migration Act in 2014, and New Zealand citizens make a huge proportion of them.
Peter’s words come as a strong response condemning Australia for having deported more than 1000 Kiwis forcibly in the last two years.
Some of those who have been issued with deportation orders have nowhere to go with no family connections or friends in that country.
Winston Peters has said that his government will continue to pursue the issue through diplomatic channels.
Greg Barns is representing the detained minor and has called the Australian government “pathetic” and accused Peter Dutton, Australia’s home affairs minister a liar for saying the boy posed a threat to Australia.
He also praised the consular staff in New Zealand for their impressive demonstration of humanity for their efforts to help the boy.
The boy is scheduled to appear in court in mid-July to appeal for his deportation. If unsuccessful he may appeal to the high court but the entire process could take months or even years to be resolved, and he shall be in detention the entire time.
According to Peter Dutton the increased deportations were necessary to protect Australia, and “the sooner we can deport this individual the better for us”.
“If this person wants to return to New Zealand, I’ll facilitate his return on a plane out of our country back to New Zealand today.”