Australia will consider New Zealand’s request to no longer deport criminals as Jacinda Ardern hails ‘reset’ of relations alongside Labor ‘friend’ Anthony Albanese
The new Prime Minister said he sympathised with his ‘friend’ Jacinda Ardern’s view during a joint press conference in Sydney on Friday.
Ms Ardern, who clashed with Scott Morrison over immigration policy, declared a ‘reset’ in relations between the two nations.
‘I do see this as an opportunity for a reset because there were obviously some points of friction. There’s obviously still issues to be worked through,’ she said.
In their first official meeting on Friday morning, the pair discussed Australia’s hardline immigration policy which sees non-citizens who commit serious crimes deported even if they’ve spent most of their lives in Australia.
It has resulted in dozens of criminals being deported to New Zealand even if they have no ties to the country other than their kiwi passport.
The New Zealand leader is the first to visit Mr Albanese on home soil after his election win on May 21
Ms Ardern mentioned that issue on the Today show on Friday morning but said she would not demand immediate changes.
‘We’ve never asked deportations as a general rule to stop. We won’t be hypocritical about it, because we do it too.
‘It’s just those extraordinary cases that trouble us,’ she said.
‘I want to give the PM some time to consider that. It’s been a bugbear for us for a long time, so I would like to see movement on it.’
Ms Ardern said she was angry about people being deported when they have spent their ‘entire formative years’ in Australia and are ‘essentially Australian’.
‘Sending them back to New Zealand, that’s where we’ve had the grievance,’ she said.
On her last trip to Australia in 2020, Ms Ardern blasted Scott Morrison over the policy, saying: ‘Do not deport your people and your problems’.
The New Zealand leader is the first to visit Mr Albanese on home soil after his election win on May 21.
On Thursday night Mr Albanese, 59, gave Ms Ardern vinyl records by Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and Powderfinger when she arrived in Sydney on Thursday night.
She posted a picture of the two Labor leaders together on Instagram and mentioned the gifts in the caption, prompting her partner Clarke Gayford to comment on the age of the bands.
He wrote: ‘Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and The Finger????!!!! What is this, 2004???’
The two leaders are pictured together in Sydney on Thursday night after Ms Ardern arrived
Mr Albanese, 59, gave Ms Ardern vinyl records by Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and Powderfinger and she gave him some tracks by record label Flying Nun
Clarke Gayford commented on the age of the bands. He wrote: ‘Midnight Oil, Spiderbait and The Finger????!!!! What is this, 2004???’
Ms Ardern, 42, said she gave Mr Albanese a few tracks from New Zealand indie record label Flying Nun.
Mr Albanese said she was the first leader to call him after the result while he was on his way to give his victory speech.
‘Prime Minister Ardern, not surprisingly, was the first person to ring me. I was still in the car. We have each other’s mobiles,’ he said on Tuesday.
‘Jacinda was good enough to ring me when I was on my way to the Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL.
‘She’s been a friend of mine for some time. I look forward to catching up with her informally on Thursday night and then for us to have a meeting on Friday. We’re good friends, Australia and New Zealand.
‘We can do much better in terms of cooperation and build stronger relations, and I’m sure that myself and Jacinda will be able to achieve that.’
Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford are pictured together at the ASB Rugby Awards in Auckland in 2018
Scott Morrison receives a traditional ‘hongi’ greeting from New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Queenstown in 2021