Australia and New Zealand are ‘not friends’

The South China Morning Post?has produced a very interesting article about the state of the relationship between Australia and New Zealand. And it comes to the conclusion that the relationship is in serious trouble. Quote:

A deepening row over the deportation of New Zealand citizens from Australia has pushed relations between the neighbours to new lows, with politicians in Wellington calling their counterparts in Canberra ?venal? and questioning the long-standing friendship between the two nations.

Australia has deported more than 1,000 New Zealand citizens in the past two years but the recent incarceration of a 17-year-old New Zealander in an adult detention facility in Melbourne prompted politicians to speak more bluntly than ever before. End quote.

Like it or not, we do not have the right to tell other sovereign countries how to control their borders. If they want to expel people with criminal convictions in Australia, then, unfortunately, that is their right. Quote:

Earlier this week, the New Zealand justice minister, Andrew Little, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Australia?s deportation of New Zealanders had a ?venal, political strain? to it, and questioned the country?s commitment to humanitarian rights and ideals.

Australia ?doesn?t look like our best friend, our nearest neighbour?, Little said. End quote.

Because we want them to keep our dross? Quote:

Australia?s home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, hit back at the comments on Thursday, suggesting Little should think more carefully before speaking, and reminding the minister of Australia?s role in border security.

?I was really disappointed in Mr Little?s comments during the week. I hope that he doesn?t repeat them,? Dutton told the radio station 2GB. ?There?s a lot that we do for New Zealand ? We?re a big land mass between them and boats coming from Indonesia and Southeast Asia ? New Zealand don?t contribute really anything to the defence effort that we?ve got where we?re trying to surveil boats that might be on their way to New Zealand ? We do a lot of the heavy lifting.? End quote.

Australia does all the heavy lifting. New Zealand has an advantage that geographically, we are further away, so it is harder for people smugglers to get boats here. But ultimately, that is not going to stop them. Quote:

Rows between the Tasman cousins ? whose relationship is frequently described as ?special? ? are not unusual, and differences of opinion occur frequently, especially on matters relating to human rights, asylum seekers and security issues since Jacinda Ardern?s Labour coalition government took power late last year. End quote.

The first thing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did was to wag her finger at Malcolm Turnbull and tell him we would take the Manus Island refugees – when no one in either New Zealand or Australia wants that to happen, except her. Quote:

Australia has also grown increasingly concerned about New Zealand offering ?back door? entry to its protected borders.

Other sore spots include cuts to welfare benefits for New Zealanders living in Australia and a furore around NZ Labour?s involvement in the discovery that former deputy Australian prime minister Barnaby Joyce was a New Zealander by descent and ineligible to sit in parliament. Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop said she would find it ?very difficult to build trust? with a New Zealand Labour government following the accusations that the party had colluded with the Australian Labor party in an attempt to ?bring down? the Turnbull government. End quote.

Dumb as a bag of hammers. Any country interfering in another’s government by colluding with the opposition cannot be trusted. And of course they did. Labour wants a Labour government in Australia. Just one teensy problem. That decision is up to the voters of Australia. Not Andrew Little. Quote:

But seasoned Trans-Tasman watchers agree the level of frustration and tit-for-tat rhetoric between the two countries has reached new levels, and shows a pivotal, long-term restructuring of the once unshakeable Anzac alliance. end quote.

But here is the thing that got me. And I think, with the way this government is behaving, this could be right. Quote:

?I think in 20 years New Zealand won?t be any different in status to Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa ? it will be a long-term shift,? said Prof John Wanna, professor of political science at the Australian National University. ?New Zealand is becoming less special and Australia is trying to treat it like any other overseas country.?End quote.

New Zealand has had plenty of opportunities to treat Australian borders with respect but has done nothing. The Clark government could have tightened its controls over immigrants using New Zealand as a back door to Australia, but it didn’t. So now Australia has made it harder for all New Zealanders to live over there, and everyone is crying foul. Really, what did they expect? The current government’s attitude to Australia is woeful. Here is another example of it. Quote:

Earlier this month, Winston Peters, who is the acting prime minister while Ardern is on maternity leave, issued the strongest condemnation yet by a New Zealand leader against Australia?s detention policies.

?You?re a signatory,? Peters said, referring to the UN convention on the rights of the child. ?Live up to it?. End quote.

What an awesome foreign minister he is shaping up to be. Don’t tell me Winston is looking for a job at the U.N. as well.

Welcome to New Zealand. The pariah of the South Pacific.