Australia plans further deportations of New Zealand criminals

There has been another big blow to trans-Tasman relations as Australia's clampdown on Kiwi criminals looks set to get even worse.

On Monday the country's government revealed it plans to strengthen current immigration rules, meaning more people will eligible for deportation. That means more Kiwis are set to be sent back - deported even if they haven't set foot in New Zealand since early childhood.

In the last four years, 1500 Kiwis have been kicked out of Australia. For many sent back, it has been life changing for the worse.

Now Australia's set to toughen its already strict immigration laws. When parliament resumes, it will debate plans to strengthen current laws.

Right now, anyone who serves a prison sentence of 12 months or more can be deported. New laws could target people who commit specific crimes, but aren't given a prison sentence.

"It's a very simple message, if non-citizens commit crimes in Australia, they should expect to have their visas cancelled," says Australia's immigration minister, David Coleman.

And that's likely to affect New Zealanders the most. Filipa Payne is an advocate for those already sent here, often to what is effectively a foreign country they left as children.

She fears the move will affect thousands more.

"Most of these people have been raised in Australia, are a product of Australia and now Australia is denying they have any moral obligation for the outcome," she says.

Even before the tighter rules come in - there's been a steady flow of deportations. Newshub has obtained information showing charter flights continue to arrive in Auckland.

One flight in the second half of 2018 carried citizens arrested for crimes like attempted murder, possessing child abuse materials, assaulting police officers, as well as drug and theft crimes.

Police in New Zealand are also acknowledging the problems deportees face.

In a briefing to Police Minister Stuart Nash, officials say the policy has both a negative impact on the New Zealand community and those being deported.

But Australia is unswayed, saying they will not tolerate crimes against Australians.

A crackdown, with no sign of slowing down.


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