TODAY |

Opinion: Australia lumps another problem on NZ

New Zealand has been lumped with another Australian problem. 

Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison. Source: Getty

Suhayra Aden, a woman accused of having links with Isis, is heading here - despite leaving New Zealand when she was six, being radicalised in Australia and having family across the ditch.

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The Government has announced it'll repatriate NZ-born Suhayra Aden at the request of Turkish authorities but won't say when the family will arrive. Source: 1 NEWS

Once a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand, our trans-Tasman neighbour scrapped Aden's Aussie passport, leaving us with to bear the brunt of all responsibility. 

If another country treated us like this, there would be a major incident. But with Australia, we just suck it up.

We used mega-phone diplomacy and it seems Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has put his fingers in his ears and sung 'la-la-la', until we let her in.  

The only thing that makes it palatable it that there are two children involved and they can’t stay detained in Turkey. That makes it easier for the public to swallow and easier for the government to roll over and let Australia get its way.  

I challenged Scott Morrison on this when he visited in May. He didn’t seem to care a jot.  

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The Australian PM said he stood by revoking the Australian citizenship of Suhayra Aden - who now only holds NZ citizenship. Source: 1 NEWS

Here’s a transcript of what happened:

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Jessica Mutch McKay: What’s the latest on Suhayra Aden and is it appropriate for you to export your problem to New Zealand when we are supposed to be mates?

Scott Morrison: Well, Ms Aden is not an Australian citizen but we have spoken today about her children and the pathway that they have eligibility for in Australia and to stand ready to address those issues. On the broader issue that is one that is often raised when I come to New Zealand or indeed when we meet in Australia. Australia’s rules, laws regarding criminal acts by those who commit them in Australia, in violation of our laws, when they are not a citizen are deported on the conclusion of their sentence.

That’s not a law that applies specifically to New Zealand or any other country. It is a universal position of Australian law. Australia together with New Zealand is some of the most successful, I would argue the most successful immigration countries anywhere in the world and one of the reasons we are able to achieve that is that you are very clear. When people come to your country that they have to abide by our laws.

Jessica Mutch McKay: Was it appropriate though to revoke her citizenship?

Scott Morrison: It was our law and we believe it was.

Jacinda Ardern: We of course reiterate our ongoing view on the issue on the cancellation of citizenship on issues of deportation. Prime Minister Morrison and I have had these exchanges before. He is very clear on New Zealand's view.  

*** 

Now we have the answer. Aden is technically our citizen and our problem.

This is the first time we have tried to reintegrate a radicalised bride. There’s also the fact that police are investigating so there will be that extra layer as well.

It will be a test for New Zealand and other countries will be watching. With the enormous amount of interest in her, it will be a challenge to create a normal life for the children.