Carr: Kiwis shouldn't be deported

  • 09/10/2015
Former Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and NSW Premier Bob Carr (AAP)
Former Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and NSW Premier Bob Carr (AAP)

A former Australian foreign minister says New Zealanders shouldn't be detained and deported under under his country's new immigration laws.

Bob Carr says the legislation was introduced to counter the terrorist threat posed by Australians who had made a commitment to a jihadist cause.

"If New Zealanders are being collected in that, who have been in jail for offences entirely unrelated to the terrorist threat, then the legislation ought to be immediately tweaked," he told Radio New Zealand.

"I think Australia should be asked to clarify that, because this legislation was introduced for one reason and for one reason only."

Under the legislation, anyone who isn't an Australian citizen and who has served a sentence of 12 months or more can be deported.

About 200 New Zealanders are in detention facing deportation, and about 100 are reported to have already been sent back.

Some of them lived in Australia for most of their lives.

There have been no reports of any of the Kiwis serving sentences for terrorist offences.

Prime Minister John Key has talked to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop about the deportations, and says he was "pretty blunt" about it.

He intends raising it with new Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Carr thinks a meeting will result in the situation being "quickly clarified".

He's a former New South Wales premier and was foreign minister between 2012 and 2013.

Mr Carr is visiting New Zealand to speak at an international conference.