Our once-friendly relationship with New Zealand is quickly deteriorating, as news of Kiwis over-staying their visas and being locked up in our detention centres continues.

The latest shots fired come from NZ’s UNITED Future‘s part leader Peter Dunne, who has called our Immigration Minister Peter Dutton the “real villain” in this whole scenario, saying he is pushing the boundaries of human rights and using “a modern day concentration camp approach” to detain New Zealanders with criminal records.

“We can, and should be, speaking out as loudly and frequently as we can against abhorrent practises,” he wrote in a newsletter published yesterday.

“The government and the opposition need to be turning on the real villains of the piece – ministers like Peter Dutton and others in the Australian government who continue to promote and support such savage and inhumane policies.” 

He’s warning that Kiwis could decide to boycott Australia in protest, believing his feelings are widespread.

“I think there will be a lot of people who will make that sort of call and who will decide one way of venting their protest is not to go to Australia,” he told Radio New Zealand this morning.

Just two days ago, Dutton rejected claims from Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox who said some people in indefinite detention on Christmas Island are convicted of minor offences.

“A one-year jail term, as I’ve already mentioned, includes people who may be shoplifters, who might have had traffic violations,” she told ABC’s AM.

“One person who we understand has been detained neglected to fill out his log book subsequent times and was hence given a 15-month sentence, of which he didn’t serve the whole sentence.”

In response to all this, Peter Dutton did what Peter Dutton does best – brushed off claims with a “Oh, it’s all nonsense, really“, and toddled off to bathe in a sea of unanswered media enquiries. 

“I’ve turned them into a rather smart casual jacket.” 

Image: Hagen Hopkins / Bradley Kanaris via Getty.
via News Corp / ABC.