15 April, 2024
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Australia shifts on controversial NZ deportations


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Officials will consider how long a New Zealander has been in Australia before a decision is made to boot them out on character grounds.

The changes by the Albanese government have been welcomed in New Zealand, whose leaders have long complained about the issue of deportations.

A government spokesperson told AAP on Wednesday that Australia was taking a “common sense approach” to deportations, having flagged a shift shortly after Labor took power in 2022.

“Under these changes, the Department of Home Affairs must now consider the length of time someone has lived in the Australian community as one of the primary considerations when determining whether to cancel someone’s visa,” the spokesperson said.

“Where individuals pose a risk to the community, the Australian government will continue to cancel their visas and remove them.”

Australia deports hundreds of people to New Zealand annually using a power under the Migration Act, which allows the immigration minister to evict on the basis of character rather than criminal convictions.

New Zealand sees it as an abrogation of the trans-Tasman friendship, as many of the people deported have little to no connection to Australia’s near-neighbour.


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