PM's upset over Australia's deportation of Kiwis is 'hypocrisy', ex-immigration minister says

Former New Zealand immigration minister and current immigration consultant Tuariki John Delamere has called out Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for being hypocritical of Australia's new visa requirements which could mean more Kiwis get deported from the nation.

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Tuariki John Delamere talked to TVNZ1’s Breakfast about the rights and wrongs of Australia’s incoming visa requirements. Source: Breakfast

Canberra is set to introduce tighter visa requirements which would allow the federal government to cancel visas based on a potential jail sentence.

But Mr Delemere told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning he doesn't blame Australia for introducing the policy.

"If you've got people committing crimes in your country, get rid of them," he said.

The former New Zealand First MP, who served in Parliament from 1996 to 1999, said he finds New Zealand's stance hypocritical given our own policies. For instance, he pointed out, non-New Zealand citizens who are facing investigation over a crime or are wanted for questioning may be deported. The only exception to that rule, he acknowledged, is Australians. 

"At least Australia are waiting for them to get convicted first, we don't even bother to do that sometimes," Mr Delamere said.

"That Jacinda goes over there and tells [Australia's Prime Minister Scott] Morrison off is hypocrisy like you wouldn't believe.

"There's a degree of arrogance then that we should be special, you know, we have this special relationship - but you can't blame the Australians. You commit a crime, hey, we can get rid of you."

Mr Delamere said the bad thing about Australia's policy for New Zealand is that we will have to put up with the offenders once they're sent back. Since 2014, 1600 Kiwis have been sent back across the ditch.

He also said it would be up to the New Zealand Government to decide if it wanted to enforce the same or similar rules back to Australians, but he was happy with the rules as they are here.