Australia deporting a 15-year-old teenager to New Zealand shows they should be taking a long hard look at themselves across the Tasman, ACT leader David Seymour says.
"The way that they are prepared to take people that have grown up in Australia, gone to Australian schools, paid tax if they've worked in Australia, and then just say, 'Nope, never heard of you, don't know you, off you go' … in any other setting that would be unacceptable behaviour," Seymour told Magic Talk's Sunday Cafe.
His comments come after the teenager was sent back to New Zealand by himself last week under Australia's hardline 501 deportee policy. Many of the Kiwis being deported grew up in Australia and consider that their home, not New Zealand.
Seymour told Sunday Cafe host Mel Homer that Australians need to take "a long hard look" at themselves.
"It seems that there is something not quite right and I hope that the Australian state is not representing the Australian psyche when it does these things."
Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick agrees, saying there's a "really meaningful cause" for New Zealanders to stand up to.
"This is not an anomaly when it comes to Australia's immigration and/or refugee or asylum seeker system at large. We've known for a really long time that there's been substantive challenges in the locking down of people on, for example, Manus and Nauru island," she told Magic Talk's Sunday Cafe.
"In the situation of this 15-year-old, the circumstances are particularly egregious and I think it's really important for New Zealand here to apply the same kind of standards that we have done historically, and in recent history as well, with regards to our attempts at upholding human rights and the rule of law."
She says New Zealand should push back on Australia for this "breach" both on the face of it and for the rights of the child.
Australian deportees, known as '501s', are named after the character section of the Australian Migration Act that allows the cancellation of their visa. The majority have lived in Australia for most of their lives and have criminal records.
Any non-citizen sentenced to 12 months in an Australian prison is subject to deportation, even if they completed their time behind bars years ago.