Information for New Zealanders living in Australia

Winston Peters speech to Press Club

NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters at the National Press Club in Canberra. (Photo: supplied)
NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters at the National Press Club in Canberra. (Photo: supplied)

Oz Kiwi

Yesterday, amid the chaos of politics in Australia currently, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters met with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop in Canberra.

Peters also spoke at the National Press Club in Canberra. Below is an extract of his speech, entitled “Fair suck of the sav”.

Fair suck of the sav

22 August 2018

Rt Hon Winston Peters, Foreign Affairs

Speech to National Press Club - Canberra

First, let's start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land that we meet on and pay respects to their elders, past and present.

Thank you, Sabra Lane, National Press Club Chair and ABC Chief Political Correspondent, for your invitation to speak here today.


As our biggest economic partner, and home to more than half a million Kiwis, Australia matters more to us than we do to you. Even so, it bears recalling that our size and single market means New Zealand adds another “Queensland” to the Australian economy.

More Australian businesses export to New Zealand than any other destination, making our market essential to 18,000 of your small and medium sized enterprises and their employees.

Perhaps as importantly for the political animals amongst us, poll after poll shows Australians and New Zealanders feel more fondly about one another than we do about any other country on earth.

That affinity does not mean we always agree with one another. A hallmark of a healthy, vibrant relationship is our capacity to embrace difference and to deal with disagreement in a calm, productive fashion. This is true of the way in which we are approaching our differences of view over the treatment of some New Zealanders living in Australia.

While we understand and respect your Government's right to set its own policies on foreign criminals, many New Zealanders question the deportation of Kiwi passport holders to a country they may never really have known because they left at such a young age. And our attention cannot but be drawn by the deportation of people who have not yet been found guilty of crimes in an Australian court of law.

Now, protection of the community is a core responsibility of any government and we are not suggesting these cases are clear cut. But New Zealanders' sense of injustice is rooted in the fact the half a million Kiwis living in Australia are overwhelmingly contributors to your society.

New Zealanders living here have higher incomes and are more likely to be in full time employment than even Australian nationals. And they pay more taxes per head than any other members of Australian society. So the case for giving them a fair go - or as Australians sometimes put it - giving us a fair suck of the sav, is very strong indeed.

And the best argument we have to offer is an argument on legal principle. We both have judicial systems which have evolved from the British legal tradition. It a tradition which developed the important concepts of natural justice and habeas corpus. These are not concepts we should lose sight of.

It certainly is the time when we need to reflect deeply on partnership, allies, and friends. In this age of global power-struggle, and in this age of disinformation, we must cling to the heavily under-valued currency of loyalty, friendship, and of trust.

These are values Australia and New Zealand have forged from our long running adherence to democracy. Values which were forged on the battlefields of Gallipoli and in the following conflicts which our descendants endured.

Read Winston Peters National Press Club Speech.