New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, currently in Australia to spread effervescent joy via her mere presence, has gone to fucking town on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in one of the all-time great press conferences, made all the better by the fact that Morrison was standing no more than two feet away from her the entire time.
In a remarkable show of strength while standing on the very lawns of Kirribilli, Ardern wailed on Morrison for engaging in immigration policies that have “tested” the ordinarily rock-solid relationship between New Zealand and Australia, and demanded that Australia stop pushing “your problems” onto Aotearoa.
Referencing the Morrison Government’s policy of deporting any New Zealand-born people who commit a crime in Australia, regardless of how much of their lives they’ve spent here, Ardern minced no words in slamming the policy, which has seen people booted from Australia despite living here since childhood and having no familial or social ties to New Zealand whatsoever.
“Australia is well within its rights to deport individuals who break your laws,” Ardern asserted with Morrison grimacing through the same shit-eating grin that he greets everything with. “New Zealand does the same. But we have a simple request – send back Kiwis. Genuine Kiwis. Do not deport your people and your problems.”
“Do not deport your people and your problems,” Jacinda Ardern has just told Scott Morrison pic.twitter.com/IOSaEtGnma
— Anna B-W (@Anna_bw) February 28, 2020
Ardern then cited the case of a woman deported to New Zealand despite living in Australia since the age of 1 and having three children here who remain here, now separate from their mother. Ardern stated that the woman “told me that she had no connection to our country,” and that she was now “in a crisis centre, having returned to a country she did not feel was her own.”
“I have heard from those who work in our judiciary that they are seeing cases before our courts of individuals who are failing attempts to reintegrate and rehabilitate because the success of these programs is reliant on at least some network. These deportees have none,” Ardern said.
Not content to end the frankly glorious verbal bashing there, Ardern further stated that despite New Zealand immigrants living in Australia are “more likely to be employed” and “pay more tax” than people born in Australia, the rights of Kiwis were nonetheless “being eroded.”
“Simple rights like assistance from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, even though they pay into the scheme’s levy. Or the ability to join the defence force, or even become a federal civil servant. Kiwis want to contribute to the place that is now their home. But [they are] not being given the potential to do that to their fullest.”
Morrison, for his part, declared no intention to walk back on the policy, stating “The Australian government’s policy is very clear. We deport non-citizens who have committed crimes in Australia against our community.”
I’m no fancy big-city fight judge, but that wasn’t even close.Image: AAP