November 17, 2015
Birthright vs bracelets for deportees
Awhi and manaaki.
That’s the principles Manurewa MP Louisa Wall wants applied to the New Zealanders being deported from Australia this week.
In the wake of the riot at the Serco-run Christmas Island detention centre the Australian government is chartering a plane to dump about 20 former prisoners who have agreed to fight appeals against their deportation remotely.
The New Zealand Government’s response is to rush through legislation allowing them to be monitored in the same way as if they had served prison time here, even though they have completed their sentences.
Ms Wall says the saga highlights the fragile status New Zealanders now have in Australia, but they should not be denied their birthright here.
"We need to awhi and manaaki. Some of them won’t have any whanau, they have been away for so long, so we have to ensure they’re given what they are entitled to as citizens of our country, and I think there will be ongoing issues, mental health issues, resettlement issues, attachment issues, so hopefully if any of them are Maori, we do have a response to make sure they are welcomed back to Aotearoa based on their citizenship and their birthright," she says.
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