The Prime Minister of Australia and the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand have taken contrary positions over proposed legislation which will bar “refugees” in New Zealand from automatically qualifying for entry to Australia—as is currently the case for all NZ residents.
According to reports, New Zealand’s deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters—whose father was a Maori and his mother Scottish—said that banning refugees who come from Nauru to New Zealand from entering Australia would create second class citizens.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week that he would support “refugees” being moved from Nauru detention center to New Zealand if legislation were passed to stop them from then travelling to Australia.
Currently, all New Zealanders have automatic right of resident in Australia in terms of a long-standing agreement between the two countries.
Australia is considering a legislation change, but when Peters was asked what his response to Morrison’s offer was, he said: “Well, you know, we’re going to have to consider whether or not, as a result of our 2013 commitment, we end up with people who are second class citizens in New Zealand. It’s a serious issue.”
Peters was asked if he would consider a law change in New Zealand to ban the refugees transferred here from going to Australia.
“No, I’m considering talking to all of my cabinet colleagues and all those that are involved and the prime minister as well because that is a serious consideration that may have been overlooked here,” he said.
“We don’t believe in second-class citizenship.”
Morrison said on Tuesday there was a bill still sitting in the Australian from 2016 that would close the back door from New Zealand to Australia.
That legislation would prevent anyone transferred to New Zealand from Nauru from travelling to Australia.
The bill was opposed by the Labor Party and the Greens and the crossbench senators preventing that protection being put in place, he said.
The Australian government plans to call for a vote on the legislation which would prevent nonwhite invaders who arrived by boat after mid-2013 from applying for an Australian visa.