It is staggering that Amy Adams is only now waking up to the fact that the deportees Australia is sending back to New Zealand will need monitoring, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
“This new legislation is a belated attempt to cope with these deportees, some of whom have serious criminal records. It begs the question, what on earth the government has been doing for the past 11 months?
“Since Australia changed its law on deportation in December last year the departments of at least six government ministers have been involved in negotiations with their Australian counterparts, knowing all along the number of Kiwis being sent back would soar.
“Australia deemed some of them so dangerous that it chartered private aircraft to avoid the risk of them travelling on commercial airlines. Yet those same people have effectively been dumped at the airport when they arrived and have received little or no support.
“It’s a recipe for disaster.
“And you only have to look at what’s been happening around electronic monitoring to know the system is already at breaking point. We don’t have the technology or the staff resources to cope with current demand, let alone an increased workload.
“Not only has John Key’s government buckled to the Australians, but they haven’t made the most basic plans for their arrival.
“As lead minister, Amy Adams needs to explain to New Zealanders why she was so woefully unprepared when she knew of this looming problem for months but failed so miserably to do anything about it.
“Or has the Government just been dishonest - acting like the policy was sprung on it, when it knew it was happening all along?”