PM Jacinda Ardern holds talks with Australian counterpart Scott Morrison

Morrison arrving in Auckland
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arriving in Auckland today ahead of talks with Jacinda Ardern. (Photo: Getty)

22 February 2019

Audrey Young – Political editor, NZ Herald

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made her strongest criticism yet of Australia’s policy of deporting of Kiwi criminals who have little or no association with New Zealand. Ardern told Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison today it was having a “corrosive” effect on the trans-Tasman relationship.

Morrison told reporters the policy was “not targeted at New Zealand in any way, shape or form”. But Australia had always been strong on immigration rules. He gave no hint that Australia would be changing its law but added: “We will work through individual cases sensitively.”

Morrison said Australia appreciated the friendliness of News Zealand’s offer to take 150 asylum-seekers from Nauru and Manus islands, which was first made six years ago. But Australia would not be taking it up.

Ardern told journalists that reports in Australian newspapers that New Zealand did not want to take single male asylum-seekers was not true.

Ardern presented Morrison with a Warriors NFL jersey to remind him that his team, the Cronulla Sharks, had “stolen” Shaun Johnson from the Warriors. He gave her gifts for 9-month-old daughter Neve – a koala toy, booties and a miniature Cronulla jersey.

Morrison and his wife, Jenny, were welcomed to Government House with a powhiri and honour guard before lunch. Ardern’s partner, Clarke Gayford, hosted Jenny Morrison for the afternoon.

[Read the full NZ Herald article].

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