Australia deports teen to New Zealand
A 15-year-old boy has reportedly been deported from Australia to New Zealand, sparking concern from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Ms Ardern has reportedly asked for a briefing after she became aware that a minor was among a group of people deported from Australia.
She told reporters at a post-Cabinet news conference on Monday that she was unaware of the deportation until calls from Stuff.co.nz earlier that day.
According to the news website, it's understood to be the first minor deported to New Zealand from Australia.
Ms Ardern does not agree with Australia's deportation policy, which New Zealand does not reciprocate, and questioned whether it was appropriate if a minor was involved, the NZ Herald reported.
Last week, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told Nine News that the deportation process was Australia's way of "taking the trash out" and involved the most serious offenders.
"It's taking out the trash, then we can make Australia a safer place," he said.
New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said Dutton's comments "only serve to trash his own reputation".
"I think they should reflect on how they are portraying the transfer of people back to New Zealand."
New Zealand Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins also slammed Mr Dutton's comments.
"This is a deplorable move by the Australian government and we completely disagree with it, however they are entitled to do it," he said.
A spokeswoman for the Home Affairs Department told news.com.au that while it "does not comment on individual cases", visa cancellation of minors was approached "with a high degree of caution and consultation".
"A non-citizen's visa must be cancelled if they are serving a full-time term of imprisonment for an offence committed in Australia and they have, at any time, been sentenced to a period of 12 months or more imprisonment, regardless of their age or nationality," she said in a statement.
"The Australian government takes seriously its responsibility to protect the Australian community from the risk of harm posed by foreign nationals who engage in criminal conduct.
"The Department approaches visa cancellation of minors with a high degree of caution and consultation, to ensure all relevant factors are considered and the approach is consistent with community and Government expectations.
"The Department complies with its legal obligations in circumstances where the removal of a minor is considered, including those under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa will be liable for detention and removal from Australia."
Originally published as Australia deports teen to New Zealand