The detainees from Christmas Island and those being held in detention centres throughout Australia belong in that country and should not be returned to New Zealand, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“John Key wants to have these people back in New Zealand when they are to all intents and purposes Australians. Their interests, and the interests of New Zealanders, are better served with them remaining in Australia where they have family ties, social networks and a better chance of rehabilitation.
“But the Prime Minister won’t even pick up the phone to his mate Malcolm Turnbull to plead their case for remaining in Australia. He is too willing to accept that New Zealand can be a dumping ground for these people.
“Most have spent decades living and working in Australia. They have mothers, fathers, wives and children there. They are Kiwis by birth only.
“Instead of distracting from the issues by insulting women and those who are fighting for the human rights of these people, John Key should do the right thing and lobby the Australian Government to keep the detainees where they and New Zealanders want them to be – in Australia,” Andrew Little says.