Herald editor: “Labour MP Kelvin Davis is right”

Mediaworks and NZME really have drunk the anti-government Kool-Aid.

Labour MP Kelvin Davis is right. It is disingenuous of John Key to say Australia’s detainees at Christmas Island are free to leave if they want. They can leave only to return to New Zealand, where they could continue their appeal against deportation from Australia. Mr Key has been assured by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that their chances would not be reduced by coming back here. But they are probably thinking yeah, right.

The detainees have a better chance by staying on Australian territory, albeit a hot, desolate island in the Indian Ocean where this week they have staged something of a riot.

Bit of truth accidentally sneaking though there:  staged a riot.   The very New Zealanders Kelvin Davis has been “predicting” would be rioting for some weeks in advance.

Deportation on the scale the Australian Government is undertaking cannot be quick or cheap. Each detainee will have to be escorted to the point of departure. It hardly seems worth the cost, let alone the damage to Australia’s international reputation, when incidents such as the Christmas Island riot occur.

Some Australians are saying so, but many more must be solidly behind the Liberal-National Coalition’s hard line on expat Kiwis who have committed criminal offences. The fact they and their families may have been Australian residents for most of the offender’s life cut no ice with Mr Turnbull when he was here.

Mr Key continues to put his hopes in gentle persuasion rather than public criticism of Australian policy. His response to the riot has been almost sympathetic to Canberra, arguing that if Australian prisoners were rioting at Paremoremo he would not expect a protest from the Australian Government. Opposition parties think he should at least be asking questions of Australia at the United Nations, where it is under investigation by the Human Rights Council, and seeks a seat on that body.

Key and the Government are dealing with this directly – directly with the Australian Government, as you would, when you work with someone.  You only go and do stupid stuff like bringing in the United Nations, Human Rights Councils if you are trying to throw a spanner in the works.

Australia deport their worst criminals.   As does New Zealand.   Some of them want to stay in Australia, and while their application is being considered, they are housed in a low-security facility.   At the sharp end we’re talking about rapists, child molesters and murderers.

But the fact remains New Zealand has more to lose than to gain by pressing too hard. Citizens of no other country have the right to live and work in Australia as freely as New Zealanders do, without becoming citizens or officially permanent residents. This privilege has been enjoyed by citizens of both countries since time immemorial, but never formalised, it seems.

It is important to repeat that it was Labour under Helen Clark that sold Kiwis’ rights in Australia in exchange for a visa-less access.

As for Kelvin Davis and his rapists, child molesters and murderers, none of whom actually want to live in New Zealand, the New Zealand voters are wondering what on earth he’s trying to achieve.  People don’t care about child molesters’ “human rights”.   On paper, and in principle, that may be awful.  In real life, and in politics, it’s a poisoned chalice.

 

– NZ Herald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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