Dutton could be open to NZ refugee deal

Dutton refugee resettlement New Zealand
Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has previous suggested taking up NZ’s offer of resettling 150 refugees would restart illegal boat arrivals. Now it seems Australia is willing to consider keeping NZ’s offer on the table. (Photo: Alex Ellinghausen).

Oz Kiwi opinion

Whilst finding a solution to indefinite detention is a good thing, it is concerning about how the New Zealand Government is handling this in terms of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (TTTA).

While saying that Australia can refuse entry to any individual may be a statement of fact, emphasising this in terms of people coming to Australia from New Zealand would seem to undermine the basic premise of the TTTA.

Surely, it would be better for the New Zealand Government support the freedom of movement, on which the trans-Tasman relationship is based, should be almost absolute, rather than apparently endorsing a ‘pick and choose’ approach in which Australia accepts some New Zealanders whilst rejecting others.

All non-citizens wishing to enter Australia must already meet health and character grounds.

Dutton says he could be open to NZ refugee deal

25 May 2018

Daniel McCulloch – Stuff

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is willing to consider a New Zealand offer to resettle some refugees held in offshore detention, but only if they’re banned from ever going to Australia.

Dutton has floated the prospect in a bid to pressure Australia’s Labor Opposition into supporting stalled legislation that would stop anybody who arrived by boat from ever reaching Australia’s shores.

“We would have a look at ways in which we would utilise the offer of 150 places,” Dutton told Sky News on Friday.

Manus Island refugee resettlement
The detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. (Photo: Alex Ellinghausen)

However, he raised the recent interception of a boat carrying 131 asylum-seekers from Malaysia to New Zealand to highlight what he said was the ongoing threat of people-smuggling.

“With that one boat you would take up an entire one-year offer from New Zealand,” Dutton said.

Iain Lees-Galloway refugee resettlement

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said Australia is free to stop the asylum seekers from entering the country from New Zealand, if it wanted. (Photo: Alex Ellinghausen)

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said on Thursday Australia was free to stop the asylum-seekers from entering the country from New Zealand if it wanted.

“Ultimately, responsibility for who can come into any sovereign nation is the responsibility of that nation,” he said.

“It’s over to Australia to determine who can and cannot come into their country.”

[Read the full Stuff article].

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