Ardern criticises 'corrosive' deportations during joint press conference with Australia's PM

The "corrosive" issue of deporting New Zealanders from Australia looks to continue despite Australia being "family, in every sense of the word", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today after the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders' Meeting.

"New Zealand has no better friend and no greater ally than Australia," Ms Ardern told media, while standing alongside Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison. "Our economies are amongst the most integrated in the world, with significant trade and investment flow, and we are stronger together on the international stage."

She said the "special bond" between the two countries would "only expand given our intertwined nature of our societies". 

Ms Ardern said the discussion with Mr Morrison was "friendly and very useful" and covered the trans-Tasman single economic market agenda and the Pacific. The pair also exchanged gifts, with Ms Ardern giving Mr Morrison a Warriors jersey. 

A new Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board was announced for e-invoicing, which is estimated will save $30 billion over 10 years.

However, the leaders also touched on contentious issues, such as the deportation of criminals who have lived in Australia since they were children.

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    The two leaders spent the day together in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

    "Occasionally, we'll see things differently," Ms Ardern said. "This issue has become corrosive in our relationship over time.

    "New Zealand has no issue with Australia taking a dim view of newly arrived non-citizens committing crimes, but equally the New Zealand people have a dim view of the deportation of people who move to Australia as children and have grown up there, with often little-to-no lasting connection to here."

    When asked about the issue, Mr Morrison put the deportations down to Australia's "very well defined immigration and citizenship laws", with the Australian Government taking a "strong line when it comes to those in Australia who are on visas". 

    "Visas are provided on the basis of people being compliant with those visas and that does not include committing crimes."

    He said that view was not targeted at New Zealand in "any way, shape or form".

    "We do maintain very strict rules around our immigration in Australia."

    When asked if there was any chance of rule relaxation around deportations, Mr Morrison said they would work through individual cases sensitively. 

    Moving to another source of political tension between the countries, New Zealand's offer to take 150 refugees from Nauru since 2013 was once again rebuffed - with Mr Morrison saying the Australian Government had "no plans to take up that arrangement whatsoever" and that it was up to the US who was accepted. 

    "That is particularly now more pertinent on the basis of what happened in Parliament last week," he said.

    Australia's Parliament passed a law to make it easier for refugees in need of medical assistance to access hospitals in Australia, meaning doctors would make the decision who could enter Australia for treatment, according to ABC. 

    "We appreciate the offer, we appreciate the friendliness of the offer," he said to Ms Ardern. "But in terms of Australia's security interests and how we manage our borders, we don't believe it's consistent with that."

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      Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison did not resolve continuing issues, such as the deportation of criminals who had lived in Australia since childhood. Source: 1 NEWS