Australia's deportation of 15yo to New Zealand 'appalling', 'heartbreaking' - MPs

The Green Party and the National Party have blasted the decision.
The Green Party and the National Party have blasted the decision. Photo credit: Getty

Australia is facing condemnation from National and Green Party MPs over the deportation of a 15-year-old boy to New Zealand.

Little detail has been made public about the teen other than that he is being held in a quarantine facility and is receiving support from Oranga Tamariki.

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has asked for more details.

"I do want to go back and look at the circumstances under which this deportation happened, because we do want to make sure particularly when we are looking at young people that is being dealt with appropriately, regardless of the circumstances of their deportation," she said.

National's foreign affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee wanted to know more details of the case but said on the face of it the deportation sounded "pretty appalling".

"If the young child has family support here that is stronger than in Australia that might be understandable, but if it is just a case of 'here is an offender, we want him out' and so he is off on the next plane to New Zealand, that is a different matter," he said.

The Green Party's Golriz Ghahraman said the deportation was both outrageous and heartbreaking.

Ghahrama said Australia's actions had put the trans-Tasman alliance in jeopardy.

"They need to know they are now damaging their relationship with us, that being a traditional ally and trading partner doesn't mean that we will continue to be an ally and partner to them as they treat us with absolute disdain in this way."

Australia's Department of Home Affairs said it could not comment on individual cases but in a statement it said its government takes it responsibility to protect the community seriously.

"A non-citizen's visa must be cancelled if they are serving a full-time term of imprisonment for an offence committed in Australia and they have, at any time, been sentenced to a period of 12 months or more imprisonment, regardless of their age or nationality."

It said the department approached visa cancellation of minors with a high degree of caution and consultation.

"The Department complies with its legal obligations in circumstances where the removal of a minor is considered, including those under the Convention on the Rights of the Child," it said.

Co-ordinator of the Iwi n Aus advocacy group Filipa Payne said this was the youngest deportation case she had heard of, but was not the first time Australia has detained a teenager for deportation.

"I do know of people who have been in detention centres in Australia since they were 17.

"Currently there is a boy there that is 20 years old and he has been in detention for two-and-a-half years," she said.

Payne said deportees experienced trauma and abuse while awaiting deportation, without any human rights.

She said she was very concerned about the teenager's mental wellbeing, given that this was an overwhelming situation for a young person.