Why Jacinda Ardern wants changes to Australia’s deportation policy and easier routes to citizenship
She used a bilateral meeting with Mr Albanese in Sydney on Friday to urge the federal government to make changes to a policy allowing the deportation of New Zealanders with criminal records who have lived most of their lives in Australia.
Ms Ardern also called for an improved route to permanent residence and citizenship for Kiwis living in Australia.
What’s So Bad About Australia Deporting Kiwi Criminals?
Ms Ardern has repeatedly criticized the previous government over the policy, including during her visit to Australia in early 2020 when she accused Scott Morrison of deporting “your people, your problems”.
“That’s where we ask for that consideration.”
“Certainly children who have arrived under the age of 10 (in Australia) should not be deported,” she said.
Why do New Zealanders need an easier route to citizenship?
“Over the years there has been an increasing number of disenfranchised New Zealanders who have no viable option,” she said.
Mr Kempton said because he and his wife are not citizens, Audrey does not have access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
New Zealand nationals Sarah and Chris Kempton’s three daughters, Constance, Claudia and Audrey, were all born in Australia. Source: delivered
“We fund all of our private physical therapy because we don’t have access to the NDIS, we spent $4,000 on a walker because we don’t have access to the NDIS, we pay for all our pediatric stuff because we don’t have access to that NDIS,” he said.
He said it shouldn’t be “more difficult” for New Zealanders to become Australian citizens “than anyone else in the world”.
“And if you step out of line, you lose everything.”
How likely is it that the changes will be made?
“I would be if I was in the same position.”