The Dim-Post

November 11, 2015

Notes on the politics around Australia’s deportation policy

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 7:10 am
  • Wikipedia reckons the Tran-Tasman Travel arrangement – which lets NZers and Australians move travel freely between countries and creates an open labour market between us – dates back to 1973.
  • Which has been incredibly useful to New Zealand. It’s kept our unemployment artificially low, especially in the 2000s during Australia’s mining boom.
  • Back in ’73 the countries were fairly comparable; there was something of a relationship between equals. Forty years later Australia is a lot wealthier than New Zealand and it perceives itself as regional super-power. To reflect the power imbalance they seem to be gradually re-litigating the TTTA to reflect that inequality. Back in 2001 they created a special ‘non protected’ category of residency visa for NZers in Australia that excluded them from accessing social support like benefits and student loans.
  • Now they have a criminal deportation policy that repatriates resident visa holders with criminal records, which is fair enough, I suppose, but because of the visa status of New Zealanders in Australia it means they’re rounding up people who have lived in Australia for most of their lives and shipping them back here.
  • The NZ government absolutely hates this policy (so I’m told), but it is popular in Australia and the government there has no reason or inclination to change it.
  • Which is interesting because two of the things the press gallery likes to celebrate about John Key is that he’s a ‘dealmaker’ and that he’s good at building relationships with international players. But if he’s made one single good deal in the seven years he’s been Prime Minister then I am not aware of it. He IS good at building relationships with people like the new Australian PM, which the gallery reckons are very valuable, but so far none of these relationships have actually been worth anything whatsoever.
  • So it’s not Key’s fault that the Australian’s have implemented this policy; but he is Prime Minister during a time in which our relationship with our closest ally is deteriorating further, and he gets to wear that. That’s why the opposition are gleefully attacking him over his inability to reverse the policy or intervene on Christmas Island.
  • Like Rob Salmond, the first thing I thought of when Key accused Labour and the Greens of ‘backing rapists’ etc was Lynton Crosby’s ‘dead cat’ technique for changing the conversation. The motivation was probably Kelvin Davis going on Morning Report yesterday and calling Key ‘weak’ for his failure to stand up for New Zealanders. Rather than have the line repeated on the TV news Key decided to project strength in the House by abusing the opposition. Now instead of calling Key ‘weak’ the opposition are complaining about him being mean to them. Goal achieved.
  • People on twitter who saw it all unfold in Question Time have been angry about the way the gallery reported the story. I get that. But Key’s team is really, really good at exploiting the systemic flaws of the press gallery to shape the political narrative. Stunts like this are difficult for them to cover because the stunt only happens because of the way the gallery will cover it. To truly explain what had happened and why journalists would have to say something like, ‘The Prime Minister said this because he knew that we would say that he said it.’
  • Here’s an example. Mid-way through Key’s performance he yelled ‘Labour can back child molesterers (sic) and murderers, I’m backing New Zealanders.’ The line doesn’t make any sense in the context of the debate, because – as Key has pointed out – the detainees on Christmas Island are New Zealand citizens who can come back to New Zealand whenever they want, and Labour are arguing for their right to stay in Australia. But the line was great theatre so it made the news on both TV stations where it no doubt sounded pretty good to the majority of viewers who don’t know the details of the issue. The only reason Key said something so non-nonsensical is because he knew the gallery TV journalists would play the line without analysing its non-sensicality.
  • The print columnists could write about this stuff though, and explain what’s going on. People like Gordon Campbell and Matthew Hooton do. I’m not sure why the newspaper columnists don’t – maybe they’re so much a part of the process they don’t see it? So much of contemporary politics is political communications; pundits who pretend that it isn’t, and that they’re impartial observers calling it from outside the system, are basically irrelevant.
  • Things aren’t all bad though. TV3’s Patrick Gower read from a list supplied to him by Key’s office numerating the number of murderers and child molesters, etc, that they claim are on Christmas Island. The list didn’t stack up for an instant and my twitter feed became a flood of outrage. TVNZ was almost certainly given the list too – their audience is many times larger than TV3’s – but they didn’t cover it, presumably because they knew they were being played. So there is some judgement going on, sometimes.

48 Comments »

  1. Your information on the TTTA is inaccurate. It doesn’t exist. See http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/transtasman-travel-rights-need-codification

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — November 11, 2015 @ 7:12 am

  2. I think the differing coverage on the tV news was coloured by the fact that it has been TVNZ and RNZ breaking the story all along, not TV3

    Comment by Mike — November 11, 2015 @ 7:16 am

  3. i got the impression that a Maori upstart calling Key “gutless” got under Key’s skin. Key is a swaggering rich white guy who likes dick swinging with other swaggering rich white people. Being called out by his inferiors in public for being gutless punctures that self image, and like all rich swaggering white guys he reacted like an insolent bully.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 11, 2015 @ 7:18 am

  4. one other thing on the personal heat in this issue. Kelvin Davis is getting anguished calls from the Christmas Island facility, a brutal concentration camp he has seen and investigated personally. His sense of anger at Key is personal, and his door stopping of Key clearly infuriated the PM.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 11, 2015 @ 7:31 am

  5. “Back in ’73 the countries were fairly comparable”

    I dunno, while their GDPs per capita were fairly comparable, Australia’s economy still dwarfed New Zealand’s. One wouldn’t claim NZ’s economy is currently comparable with South Korea’s, although GDP per capita is nearly identical.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — November 11, 2015 @ 7:45 am

  6. We all know what he’s doing. The press gallery know what he’s doing. The opposition know what he’s doing. Key certainly knows what he’s doing. Really, anyone who’s ever read a book about politics or just been around a while, knows what he’s doing. So why are political journalists not saying so?

    Some think it’s down to reporters’ political bias, and sometimes it is. But I think the chief explanation is simpler, and worse. The people paid to report Parliament are really shit at their jobs, and neither they nor their bosses care.

    Compare the rewards for ex-journos working as Key’s spinners, with the rewards for journos who expose them.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — November 11, 2015 @ 7:54 am

  7. Australia isn’t re-litigating the TTTA for economic reasons. Since the Howard government Australian racism – which is never far from the surface at the best of times – has had government imprimatur. The remorseless logic of Howard’s racism is becoming the ever bigger elephant in the room of Australia’s relationship with New Zealand. It started with foreigners on the Tampa and the re-drawing of the TTTA in 2001, now it has extended itself to racist policies directed at New Zealanders domociled in Australia.

    The question is how long can New Zealand continue to bite it’s tongue on Australian racism, and how long can Australia get away with demanding their friends keep looking at their shoes and shuffling awkwardly while they energetically engage in the racist violation of other ethnic groups human rights?

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 11, 2015 @ 7:57 am

  8. Labour just had a banana-skin free conference, Little got some political capital in his war-chest, Key just needed something to shift the narrative back and sabotage the possibility of Labour getting a run of positive news coverage, so Davis may have inadvertently given Key this. Isense a re-run of the meme that Labour are fractious its members undisciplined and leaderless and they lack moral values. A dog whistle so loud even Izzy could hear it: http://deafdogsrock.com/this-is-izzys-story.

    But really we all know it was because he was p**d off and lost his rag.

    Comment by Lee Clark — November 11, 2015 @ 8:00 am

  9. This going to be a vote loser for Labour
    These criminals don’t want to come back to NZ, they are appealing the process to be sent home

    Labour should have been demanding that there be provisions to keep NZers safe rather than worrying about the criminals rights and Australia’s sovereign right to send them home

    Better to have complained about any real injustices than a blanket approach because the PM is right some of these criminals are sure to be really bad guys.Who wants to be seen to be supporting them, oh that’s right the people who think they deserve a vote

    Law and order is always vote winner
    Which unfortunately has got nothing to do about the rights and wrongs of a situation

    Comment by Ray — November 11, 2015 @ 8:06 am

  10. When I “lose my rag”, I always make sure I have scripted lines and numbers prepared beforehand.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — November 11, 2015 @ 8:17 am

  11. At the end of the day , the twitterati is not the real world. Most New Zealanders actually have little sympathy for the people on Christmas island because they know that they wouldnt be there if they weren’t serious criminals and they know that if they are trying to get sympathy for their plights then the last thing they should is to committ criminal acts by destroying the facility! This policy is popular in Australia so why don’t the Labour Party go and condemn the Australians for supporting it rather then moan about John Key not doing enough for people the Australians dont want (which is their prerogative) and NZers dont particular want.

    Comment by rjs131 — November 11, 2015 @ 8:36 am

  12. The PM didn’t lose his rag. He didn’t want the evening news bulletins to lead with stories about Labour and the Maori Party calling him gutless etc. So he gave them something more sensational to report. He did his homework first, made sure that there are indeed NZ murderers, rapists etc in detention, then let Labour have it. Fair enough, I reckon. Labour were dishing it out, they know very well the PM will return fire.

    There seems to be a bit of cognitive dissonance going on in some quarters here. The only conclusion I can draw out of all of this is not that the PM is being dishonest, or losing his grip. Rather it is that the PM is very, very good at politics – better than the current Labour leadership, at least for the time being. There is a reason why National has won 3 straight general elections and is still almost 20% ahead of Labour in the polls.

    Comment by Nick R — November 11, 2015 @ 8:44 am

  13. Why don’t they report it straight? Because in 2015 New Zealand, Key plays you.

    They love it. They absolutely love being Key’s plaything. And their producers/researchers/junior-journos who are embarrassed by this are too scared to put their heads up in case they get fired.

    Comment by Ratfucked — November 11, 2015 @ 8:49 am

  14. “Stunts like this are difficult for them to cover because the stunt only happens because of the way the gallery will cover it. To truly explain what had happened and why journalists would have to say something like, ‘The Prime Minister said this because he knew that we would say that he said it.’”

    I really don’t see why it should be so hard to at least add some disclosure to a report that the journo thinks the PM is pandering to the media to look good, even if while still reporting what he said.

    More likely than ebing concerned about their own integrity, I think, is that certain journalists are terrified of going against the PM’s popularity, risking being painted as idealogically biased left wing zealots (a-la John Campbell) for saying something or reaching a conclusion that an audience might simply disagree with. It’s so easy now for viewers and readers to go elsewhere to justify and reinforce an existing world view (we’re doing it here and now in the comment threads of the blog of a guy whose now closely aligned with a political party), whether it also happens to be an objective source, or alternatively going straight to the wholesalers of information with regurgitated press releases and leaks that have had no objective scrutiny.

    Voters seem very polarised right now. When that happens anything that’s inconsistent must obviously be stupid biased ideology from “the other side”. Journos beware.

    Comment by izogi — November 11, 2015 @ 8:54 am

  15. “because they know that they wouldnt be there if they weren’t serious criminals”

    Some 43% have no criminal conviction at all. Facts, are inconvenient, huh?

    Comment by jmarshall — November 11, 2015 @ 9:00 am

  16. “indeed NZ murderers, rapists etc in detention”

    There are no murderers on Christmas Island.

    Comment by jmarshall — November 11, 2015 @ 9:02 am

  17. rjs131, read Andrew Geddis on Pundit if you want to find out why you’re wrong about this:” they know that they wouldnt be there if they weren’t serious criminals “. It’s quite likely,in fact, that a Key’s serial pulling would have been an offence sufficiently grave to have him expelled from Australia.

    Comment by paritutu — November 11, 2015 @ 9:03 am

  18. “… Rather it is that the PM is very, very good at politics…”

    Paddy Gower’s desire to keep his job by reflecting his employers views faithfully not withstanding, there seems to be a bit of a feeling that this might be Key’s “niquab banning” moment – the issue that finally revealed the meta-strategy and had no impact on his declining popularity.

    The problem Key has is a nationalistic one. He needs to double down on the deep state propaganda coming from Canberra and side with the Australians against his own citizens. In Australia the media is completely compliant on this issue and simply parrots the governments propaganda – or ignores it completely. For John Key however it isn’t so easy. TV3 and the rest of mediaworks he can back on for Putinesque level of compliance. But the rest of the NZ media is asking questions and reporting stories counter to the deep state narrative. It also feeds a general impression of Key that he is a spinelessly supine dealer who knows the value of nothing and prefers to hob nob with ruling elites than standing up for Kiwis.

    Linked to that is Kelvin Davis’s anger is partially driven by the racist subtext of this issue here. Key is a rich white guy who is part of a global colonial mindset, a global settler class that is white, rich and casually practices institutional racism against the poor – who are predominantly brown. Look at the detainees who have been reported on. Mostly Polynesians. Key and Carter didn’t help that by referring to Davis as “son” and patronising Marama Davidson respectively. Maori are pretty nationalistic – much more so than the white settler class Key talks to. And unlike Australia, which used genocide to wipe out it’s native inhabitants, Maori won’t take casual white settler racism sitting down. A big loser out of all this will be the Maori party, which has meekly said and done nothing. Again.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 11, 2015 @ 9:08 am

  19. “A big loser out of all this will be the Maori party, which has meekly said and done nothing. Again.”

    Yeah it did. It said “BUT THEY’RE NOT ALL RAPISTS!“, as if to validate the claim that simply being so somehow makes it acceptable for Australia to lock those people up isolated 1500km from the Australian mainland with an lack of due process, a lack of realistic legal representation, a lack of independent monitoring, and a resulting absurd lack of transparency.

    Comment by izogi — November 11, 2015 @ 9:31 am

  20. Herr Dr Sigmund Sanctuary, your Freudian slips are showing!

    Comment by Tinakori — November 11, 2015 @ 9:47 am

  21. Free travel between Australia and New Zealand goes back a lot further than 1973, in fact is goes back to the nineteenth century, and was a very important factor shaping the union movement in both countries. It was a de facto dual citizenship, and for that reason almost no one who migrated in either direction bothered to change their citizenship. At the same time it was ended, in stages around 1980-2000, it was almost also made all but impossible to gain Australian citizenship. That is why tens of thousands of Australian residents are now left in a state of legal limbo. It is not even necessary to commit a crime – you can be deported just on grounds of ‘bad character’ which has a sweeping wide definition.Smearing people who are fighting to defend ordinary democratic rights as a bunch of criminals has a long history.
    https://convincingreasons.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/australias-guantanamo-the-ever-widening-consequences-of-stripping-away-the-right-to-asylum/

    Comment by James Robb — November 11, 2015 @ 9:56 am

  22. Look, at the end of the day, if that veteran of Afghanistan didn’t want to be lumped in with rapists and child sex offenders he shouldn’t have found himself in a position that was politically awkward for a leader of John Key’s quality. That’s all there is to it.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — November 11, 2015 @ 10:41 am

  23. I’m surprised Russell Packer isn’t in a detention facility.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Packer

    Comment by Ross — November 11, 2015 @ 10:50 am

  24. Of course, when John Key himself backs rapists, the details tend to be legally suppressed so people can’t publicly call him out on it.

    Comment by Can of Worms, Opened — November 11, 2015 @ 10:52 am

  25. @21

    Yes, well, there is a certain “prominent” NZer who faces trial next year on charges of indecent assault. John Key will have to come up with a rather large dead cat if it is found that he (Key) has been backing this person.

    Comment by Ross — November 11, 2015 @ 10:59 am

  26. Of course the dead cat trick wouldn’t work unless people responded to it, rather than just brushing the cat aside and continuing with the issue.

    The problem with all of Labour’s attempts to get Key is that they are all so transparently that. “Gotcha” issues. All the effort goes into the attempted smear which makes Labour look frantic.

    This problem is exacerbated because Labour does not actually come up with real alternative solutions.

    Its all, “look at what a bad person that John Key is”. And as I said, its so frantic people don’t buy it.

    Labour should say “we don’t agree with what National is doing and we think this is what should be done.”

    Maybe they’d rather have the dead cat to talk about because they don’t really know what they would do if they were in Key’s position.

    Which kind of fits in with my main thesis. We have a one party state, and all we are witnessing in these weekly skirmishes is one leadership group’s bitter dislike and envy of the other leadership group. Simply because the one group holds power and the other does not.

    Policy is sidelined in a cloud of embittered but meaningless and fruitless verbal exchanges. Because there really is not much difference in policy anyway.

    Its all just ill feeling.

    Comment by Redbaiter — November 11, 2015 @ 11:09 am

  27. “I’m surprised Russell Packer isn’t in a detention facility”. I thought you meant Russell Crowe ! , then I looked him up. ( I dont think hes been released yet)

    Its a ‘character test” now, for those who dont have any convictions. John Key would struggle to pass that one based on his creepy fondness for young womens long hair !

    Comment by dukeofurl — November 11, 2015 @ 11:18 am

  28. My guess is that the PM is going to look very bad* when/if more stories like those of “Jenny Maclean from Westport” come out.

    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/My-grandson-on-Christmas-Island-has-been-smashed-in-the-face/tabid/506/articleID/107550/Default.aspx

    *It won’t matter if he looks bad with a majority of people. He just has to fail the character test with enough soft voters to lose their trust.

    Comment by George D — November 11, 2015 @ 11:32 am

  29. Think about it.. you have a man who has murdered in Australia and a man who has committed no crime but is being held on some ambiguous definition of character..

    Do you 1. Priorise the case of the more innocent man and work hard to get the Aussies to leave him with his home and family in Oz or 2. Do you do everything you possibly can to publicise, embarrass and antagonise the Aussies so that neither man has any show of being allowed to stay in Oz?

    Well, we know the left side of the House went No 2 and left 70% of the country wondering whether they are murder huggers or just clinically insane. Whichever, they proved they are still unelectable and likely as dangerous as some of the crims they incited to riot.

    JC

    Comment by JC — November 11, 2015 @ 12:49 pm

  30. “forty years later Australia is a lot wealthier than New Zealand and it perceives itself as regional super-power.”

    Private debt levels are staggering in Aust. $5 trillion in debt in a $1.3 trillion economy. (NZ total debt $500+ billion in a $220 billion economy bad enough)

    “Back in 2001 they created a special ‘non protected’ category of residency visa for NZers in Australia that excluded them from accessing social support like benefits and student loans.”

    Helen Clark got the ball rolling on this. Look it up.

    ” like the new Australian PM, which the gallery reckons are very valuable, but so far none of these relationships have actually been worth anything whatsoever.”

    Aust keeps changing its leaders so often because its economy is fucked. The constant change in leaders is a sign of political unrest. Australia is like Brazil fucked and deal making harder and harder. Governace in Aust is under huge pressure and it anit coping.

    Comment by Simon — November 11, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

  31. Confident neoliberal predictions of the demise of the Australian economy are only exceeded by their predictions of the imminent demise of the French one.

    “…Helen Clark got the ball rolling on this. Look it up…”

    Actually it was John Howard who got that one rolling, you fucking moron. In fine racist style, Howard was worried NZ was being used as a backdoor entry for all sorts of yellow and brown people. His choice was create a group of second class New Zealanders or the creation of the special category visa. Helen Clark, a proper prime minister who recognised she could have some foreign so-and-so tell us how to rank our people, chose the option that didn’t discriminate. The contrast with Key – a loudmouthed bully who seems to think he can pick and chose who deserves the protection of NZ citizenship – couldn’t be starker.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 11, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

  32. *… she COULDN’Thave some foreign so-and-so…*

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 11, 2015 @ 1:45 pm

  33. (I dont think hes been released yet)

    Russell Packer was released earlier this year. He was sentenced to two years but served one year. He remains in Australia.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/64678079/Jailbird-Russell-Packer-walks-free-after-just-12-months-for-vicious-assault-and-seeks-NRL-contract

    Comment by Ross — November 11, 2015 @ 2:14 pm

  34. Well, that was intense.

    Worth watching in full. (NZQT, today.)

    Comment by Kawakawa — November 11, 2015 @ 3:18 pm

  35. •Here’s an example. Mid-way through Key’s performance he yelled ‘Labour can back child molesterers (sic) and murderers, I’m backing New Zealanders.’ The line doesn’t make any sense in the context of the debate, because – as Key has pointed out – the detainees on Christmas Island are New Zealand citizens who can come back to New Zealand whenever they want, and Labour are arguing for their right to stay in Australia.

    That is an extremely tight context to confine our definitions within, a narrow window used to make the remark appear nonsensical. Arguing minutiae in extreme detail within a narrow context is exactly what twitter is good for, so the twitterati are outraged – again. What a surprise.

    But Danyl you’ve got a blog.

    The real context is wider. There are 650,000 New Zealanders living in Australia, very few of them will ever be deported. How do you think these New Zealanders will fare if our government was to make demands of Australia over these few criminals? Do you reckon life will become easier for them living in Australia?

    Comment by unaha-closp — November 11, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

  36. Firstly, the PM said the opposition loved rapists. He said that to the house, and to the public of New Zealand. If that’s not outrageous, I’m not sure what is.

    When a number of MPs revealed today that they had been raped, and they found the comments reprehensible, it became even more obvious how odious the deliberate comment was.

    Comment by Kawakawa — November 11, 2015 @ 4:17 pm

  37. Also, what? How does a government that refuses to help New Zealanders in Australia help New Zealanders in Australia?

    As someone who lived in Australia and plans to live there again, I’m reasonably apprehensive about not having any support if things turn for the worse.

    Comment by Kawakawa — November 11, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

  38. “The department has already started assessing whether ( Russell) Packer – who undertook alcohol-related counselling before and during his incarceration – will be allowed to remain in Australia. Convicted criminals who are sentenced to 12 months or more invariably fail the “character test” associated with the 1958 Migration Act and are deported”
    that was back in Jan 2015.

    So it seems being a NRL player ‘cleans’ any stain on your character, while not having any convictions but belonging to a motorcycle gang leaves an indelible stain.

    They have some more details of those who WOULD FAIL the character test.

    (i) the crime of genocide;

    (ii) a crime against humanity;

    (iii) a war crime;

    (iv) a crime involving torture or slavery;

    (v) a crime that is otherwise of serious international concern

    Comment by dukeofurl — November 11, 2015 @ 4:44 pm

  39. I’m not sure why the opposition doesn’t serve Key a dead cat in return.

    Rather than walking out, wouldn’t it have been nice to see an demand for an apology framed as “I call on our weak, cowardly Prime Minister to apologise for both his odious comments” or “When will the Prime Minister apologise to the people of New Zealand and piss off back to Hawaii where he came from?”

    Then refuse to apologise and get ejected from the House.
    That’d get a headline or two.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 11, 2015 @ 5:04 pm

  40. 37.Also, what? How does a government that refuses to help New Zealanders in Australia help New Zealanders in Australia?

    Do you think this policy of offloading violent offenders and undesirables is unpopular in Australia? Like EFF it is, this is a 100% vote winner. If we make a problem for Australia over this then they’ll make a problem for us, because they are that sort of country.

    They’ll tighten up visa requirements and make sure they do extensive pre-checks on any Kiwi going over – to keep Australia safe. And that will be popular with the law & order right and the union left (they’ve got high unemployment over there, they don’t want Kiwis driving down wages). You thinking about going there, well if John Key caves to pressure and jumps to the defence of these 25 – better be prepared for a long wait.

    Comment by unaha-closp — November 11, 2015 @ 5:21 pm

  41. “Then refuse to apologise and get ejected from the House.”

    I think your ploy would only have a chance of working if Martin Luther Little was prepared to say those words and then only if he was balancing a soccer ball on the end of his nose and wasn’t wearing the bottom half his suit. And I couldn’t guarantee that the extra attention would be positive for Little. If any other opposition MP said those words they would get both the heave and almost no attention. They might also get named which would mean suspension for a set period. Not so much a dead cat as a damp squib. A great way to marginalise yourself. Does the opposition really want to spend a whole heap of its not very great store of political capital on this issue?

    Comment by Tinakori — November 11, 2015 @ 6:23 pm

  42. 25 – Ross – I predict the case will never go to court. There will be a massive ACC payment to the girls and a decision by their therapist that proceding to trial is not in the girls’ best interests.

    Comment by Robert — November 11, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

  43. Listening to Kelvin Davis – Labour doesn’t want these people back, doesn’t want them moving in next door and thinks the asylum seekers’ accusations of aggression from NZers is just lies.

    Comment by NeilM — November 11, 2015 @ 10:01 pm

  44. Which doesn’t show a lot of sympathy for anyone.

    I think the mistake is to once again make it all about Key.

    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.

    Comment by NeilM — November 11, 2015 @ 10:17 pm

  45. 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.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 12, 2015 @ 7:38 am

  46. Spot on, PM.

    Comment by paritutu — November 12, 2015 @ 7:56 am

  47. I asked earlier why Russell Packer hasn’t been detained. Well, it seems he is about to be deported. Interesting timing.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11544666

    Comment by Ross — November 13, 2015 @ 10:07 am

  48. @45, Perfectly put PM, thankyou

    Comment by TerryB — November 13, 2015 @ 10:22 am


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