Jacinda Ardern Delivers Good Governance Speech At Melbourne Town Hall
Jacinda Ardern Delivers Good Governance Speech At Melbourne Town Hall

‘Corrosive’: Ardern slams Australia

NEW Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wants Australia to reconsider a blanket rule on deportations that she says is having a "corrosive" effect on relationships between the two countries.

Speaking after a speech at Melbourne Town Hall last night ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison today, Ms Ardern raised the issue of visa cancellations for people who commit crimes that result in a jail term longer than 12 months.

The changes came into effect in 2014 when Mr Morrison was Immigration Minister and impact migrants from all countries.

More than 4000 people - many from New Zealand - have been deported on "character grounds" since the laws were changed.

Ms Ardern wants to change Australia’s migration policy. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Ms Ardern wants to change Australia’s migration policy. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

 

Ms Ardern said she thinks the blanket rule is too broad.

"We have seen cases where there is also almost no connection of an individual to New Zealand who have been deported," she said.

"I consider that to be a corrosive part of that policy. And it's having a corrosive effect on our relationship."

She said she planned to raise the matter with the PM when the two meet in Melbourne later today.

It will be the first time the two leaders come face-to-face since Mr Morrison was re-elected. They last met after the Christchurch massacre in March where 51 people died at the hands of an Australian terrorist.

 

Jacinda Ardern’s response to Christchurch has been painted in a giant mural in Melbourne by artist Loretta Lizzio. Picture: James Ross/AAP
Jacinda Ardern’s response to Christchurch has been painted in a giant mural in Melbourne by artist Loretta Lizzio. Picture: James Ross/AAP

 

"Last time I saw Jacinda was under the most difficult of circumstances when we were in Christchurch for the memorial service which was a heart-wrenching exercise," the Australian leader told reporters.

Ms Ardern last night met with Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Governor Linda Dessau.

She delivered an address titled 'Why does good government matter' and spoke about the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre, specifically her "instinctive" response to the mosque shootings.

"It's instinctive when your mourning with someone, to reach out in that way. It just felt to me like a human response but perhaps I'd add another layer to that, it's a Kiwi response," she said.

But she said she was saddened at how surprised some were at her response. "I was saddened by it. It shouldn't have been noteworthy," Ms Ardern said.

She also spoke about climate change and poverty, telling audience members those "are the two areas where I'd love to ensure what we do lasts".

She was asked what it would take to get meaningful global action on climate change.

"I think a visit to the Pacific Islands might do it. I think we actually just do need to humanise this," she said.

"If you visit Kiribati or Tuvalu, it is real. This is not a hypothetical. The changes they're seeing in their natural environment is happening now," she said.


Local supermarket embraces Book Week

Local supermarket embraces Book Week

Everyone who came in costume contributed a gold coin donation

Things to do this week

Things to do this week

There's plenty to see and do in the region this week

QPS switches to SMS

QPS switches to SMS

QPS is rolling out a new method of contacting the public