Actor Oscar Kightley has hit out at Australia for being New Zealand’s ‘dodgy racist neighbour.
Where does one begin in critiquing this piece by Kylie Lang in the Courier Mail?
Firstly, Oz Kiwi and most New Zealanders in Australia have never said that all Kiwis who commit crimes should be able to stay in Australia. The concerns we have raised have not been about Australia’s right to deport criminals, but how current policy is being administered. These concerns include the deportation of people who have been in Australia since infancy and are for all intents and purposes Australians and the unnecessarily lengthy and remote detention of those facing deportation. We have no problem at all with the deportation of recent arrivals who commit significant crimes.
Secondly, Oscar Kightley’s comments about Australia becoming the ‘dodgy racist neighbour’ related to the treatment of asylum seekers detained on Nauru. There are no Kiwis detained in Nauru. To imply that Kightley’s comments related to the detention of New Zealanders is completely misleading.
Thirdly, she disputes that Kiwis have had their rights whittled away over recent years – this is a matter that is completely beyond dispute. Remarkably, she makes the absurd claim that New Zealand should pay for the provision of government services to people who have been living in Australia for many years and paying taxes here.
You can respond to Kylie Lang on Twitter. As always, remember to be polite – critique the article, don’t attack the author.
Opinion: New Zealanders already have it too good
24 August 2016
Kylie Lang – The Courier-Mail
Kiwis up in arms about the allegedly poor treatment of fellow citizens who choose to live in Australia but break our laws are kidding themselves.
New Zealanders already have it too good.
The 650,000 Kiwis who call Australia home – 10 times the number of Aussies in New Zealand, incidentally – are entitled to “special category” visas, which let them live and work here without constraint.
Because they are not citizens, however, they are subject to stricter conditions on their conduct, thanks to the wisdom of former PM Tony Abbott.
One of these conditions is that if you are jailed for a year or more, your visa is cancelled.
The slur by little known Samoan-born Kiwi actor Oscar Kightley – didn’t see the film Hunt for the Wilderpeople? Me neither – has created an almighty trans-Tasman stink and just in time for rugby’s Bledisloe Cup on Saturday.
Kightley’s dig came after the leak of incident reports from Nauru detention centre, which revealed a pattern of alleged abuse and mistreatment of immigrants.
A good many of these immigrants are Kiwis.
Australia’s immigration minister Peter Dutton won’t say how many New Zealanders have been deported since the law changed in 2014 but Oz Kiwi, an advocacy group, estimates it’s about 600, according to a report in The Economist.
That’s 600 people who have broken the law.
Daniel Jermaine Lee Maxwell, who on Monday was committed to stand trial over the alleged one-punch attack on Cole Miller in Brisbane in January, might have been one of them had his lawyer not halted a bail application in March.
He and co-accused Armstrong Renata (who has pleaded guilty) are both New Zealand nationals and facing life sentences over the alleged striking causing death of the 18-year-old water polo player.
People who commit violence and other crimes that threaten the fabric of our Australian society are not welcome.
Getting rid of them isn’t racist; it’s acting in the best interests of the majority.
Earlier this year Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a plan to grant permanent residency to New Zealanders who have lived in Australia for five years and earn at least $53,900 a year.
Yet this week we have Timothy Gassin, chairman of Oz Kiwi, bleating about a “gradual erosion of Kiwis’ rights in Australia”.
“There’s a lot of rhetoric about Australia and New Zealand being family,” Gassin says. “Politicians are always gushing, but people are feeling this isn’t reality. Australians always try to drive a hard bargain.”
I wonder if the New Zealand government would like to step in and pay for these services for its citizens, instead of expecting Australian taxpayers to do it?
Gassin identifies a “wedge between the two countries”, with Australia being “the meaner country”.
I hardly think so.
So are we meant to feel sorry for the likes of Dylan Fraser, imprisoned at 19 after taking a baseball bat to another driver on a Sydney street? His mother and children live in Australia but he was deported and hit with $60,000 in legal costs for failed appeals.
New Zealand’s opposition justice spokesman Kelvin Davis describes Kiwis who get their visas scrapped as “people you’d have a beer with in the pub”.
No thanks. Most have committed violent crimes, as News Australia reports show.
I’m not keen to drink with them, nor do I support paying for them to stay in Australia.
If you don’t abide by the law, leave.
Now can we please turn our attention to a more worthy challenge, the Bledisloe Cup.
[Read the Courier Mail Opinion piece].