Judith Collins doesn't expect Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to convince her Australian counterpart to stop deporting Kiwis.
In the past few years more than 1600 people have been booted across the Tasman for committing crimes, or simply being deemed "not of good character". Some have spent almost their entire lives in Australia, being deported to a country they've never called home.
"If we look at their backgrounds, they're actually Australians," Labour MP Willie Jackson told The AM Show on Friday.
"They just happened to be born here. It's shocking."
Ardern is due to meet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison soon, where she'll be bringing up the contentious issue she once labelled "corrosive" to trans-Tasman relations.
While National has suggested implementing a tit-for-tat deportation policy, Ardern has said that would be hypocritical.
"My position is that we must do and continue to do everything we can to make the point that what Australia is doing is wrong and the best way I can continue to make that is not by replicating something that I don't agree with," she said earlier this week.
But without a stick, Collins - a former Minister of Corrections - says Ardern won't get far.
"[Morrison] will be trembling. I dunno, he might have to have a lie down after that," she told AM Show host Duncan Garner.
"For goodness' sake, honestly, what's she going to do? 'If you keep sending back these bad New Zealanders, then we'll send you, I dunno, what?' Come on... You know what she's going to do - have a hug and stuff, and come back and say, 'Well, I tried.' Good on her."
At least she's trying, says Jackson.
"[National leader Simon] Bridges would do nothing."
Ardern has labelled National's position as "naive".
This week, the Human Rights Commission and Community Law weighed in, calling on the United Nations to probe Australia's tough policies, which could soon get even tougher with new legislation before the Senate.