Discretion must be more than empty rhetoric


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must keep his commitment to give individual circumstances of Kiwis in Australia facing deportation more consideration after a tetraplegic was dumped at Auckland Airport, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

The 56-year-old who has spent the past 36 years living across the Tasman reportedly arrived with only $200 and a voucher for a week’s accommodation. The man – who was jailed for self-medicating with controlled painkillers – says he has no friends or family here.

"Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said more consideration would be given to individual circumstances.

"Labour welcomes the Australian Prime Minister’s commitment to put more resources into immigration to speed up the appeal process. 

"But it is more important that proper consideration is given to individual circumstances at the time visas are revoked, than appeals are processed faster. Labour is hopeful this will change after Malcolm Turnbull met with us yesterday.

"It is often said New Zealand and Australia are like family. As one commentator has said, we are being treated more like the poor cousin.

"This is not how mates treat each other.

"Labour calls on the Australian Government to be realistic about people such as this man and his ability to cope in an unfamiliar country with no capacity to look after himself without the support of friends and family," Andrew Little says.