New Zealand’s Health Minister, Chris Hipkins is not very happy with Australia’s deportation program, as per Radio New Zealand.
Thirty deportees from Australia will arrive in New Zealand this week, said a New Zealand government spokesperson
“We’re receiving them because we’re obligated to receive them,” Hipkins told Morning Report.
However, “it would be wrong to say we’re happy about it”.
Australia halted the deportation program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New Zealand government will send the deportees to an isolation facility to quarantine for 14 days.
After that, they will be assimilated into New Zealand’s society.
“In the eyes of the law, they’ve done their time,” added Hipkins.
“And we have to treat them accordingly.”
Concerns On Isolation Facility For Deportees
New Zealander deportees have no idea where they will be staying for quarantine, once they arrive in New Zealand.
However, the government did not reveal where the facility is, as per another Radio New Zealand report.
Megan Woods, minister for managing isolation told Morning Report that 30 deportees are relatively small, thus easier to manage.
However, it is acceptable to be nervous about the deportees, said New Zealand opposition leader, Todd Mueller.
The government needs to be transparent about the details of the facility for the deportees, he said.
This is due to the isolation solutions, not being secure, he explained.
Filipa Payne, an advocate for New Zealanders in Australian detention is also skeptical about the situation, said another Radio New Zealand report.
The government is not being transparent about the “processes” the deportees are being put through, she said.
Also, they only get little information about the processes.
“The whole process is leaving people unprotected”, Payne said.
Besides, what is the government doing to reassure the deportees going back to New Zealand, she asked.
Australia’s Deportation Program
In 2014, Australia amended its Migration Act.
One of the changes makes it easier to cancel people’s visa on character grounds.
Because of the change, Australia was able to deport even long-term residents back to their country, said Go To Court Lawyers Online.
Moreover, despite being equally effective to all, New Zealand has been the most affected by the law, they said.