Australia 501s: Man facing deportation to New Zealand despite calling Australia home

A sudden policy change in Australia could see more 501 deportees sent to New Zealand again.

Australia is reverting to a tougher stance - and that could mean criminals who've lived just a few months of their lives in New Zealand can be deported here.

Ben Ives' accent is a dead giveaway he's an Aussie. His daughters live there and he calls the country home.

Why wouldn't he? He's lived there since he was seven months old.

But in 2021 he ran a red light, causing a major crash in Sydney. No alcohol or drugs are alleged to be involved.

In the eyes of Australia, he's a dangerous criminal who should be deported.

Problem is, he knows no one in New Zealand.

"I've got no one at all in New Zealand, I've never been there, don't know anything about the place. I've lived my whole life here," he told Newshub from inside an Australian detention centre.

He's the perfect case that our Government is trying to prevent - people with little or no connection to New Zealand who are being deported under a law known as Section 501.

It's popular in Australia, sold to the voters as the Government deporting dangerous people like murderers and rapists.

When Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese came into power he promised to use a commonsense approach, and did.

Newshub can reveal since he came into power the number being deported has halved each month compared to what it was beforehand.

But it backfired in Australia. So, on Friday, their Government changed the rules back - despite the commitment Albanese made to our Government in 2022.

Today Australia's Immigration Minister Andrew Giles issued Direction 110, which would make it "crystal clear" that non-citizens with violent criminal records should be deported, even if they'd lived their whole lives in the country.

Giles said the change would make community safety the "highest" priority.

There's still an intention to use a commonsense approach but it will come down to how the new wording is interpreted and executed if that's what happens.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said there was no warning before Giles issued the new direction, and "we regret the decision that Australia has made".

"It's just not right that we think that people who have no connection to New Zealand, are deported to New Zealand," he added.

Luxon said he'd raised the issue of 501 deportations with Albanese previously, plus Foreign Minister Winston Peters has raised it with Giles too.

"We need to make sure and monitor how that [Direction 110] gets implemented going forward," he said.

But the fact Albanese didn't even make a courtesy call to Luxon beforehand, shows how little he seems to care about New Zealand's concerns about the issue.