Tuesday, November 10, 2015
'Decorated soldier Ko Rutene detained in high security Australian prison despite committing no crime 8:18 AM Wednesday Nov 11, 2015' Australia no doubt has an issue with 'boat people,' refugees and possibly some undesirable immigrants who have no wish to embrace the 'great Aussie lifestyle.' I am not questioning their right to manage who enters their country, but the actions of late, whereby a large number of people are being sent to offshore detention centres where conditions are not good and the said facilities, managed by a very questionable firm (SIRCO) are hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. New Zealand citizens have been caught up in this wide-sweeping approach, with little sensitivity to what has been a very close relationship between the two ANZAC nations taken into account. That the ex serviceman, Ko Rutene, can be treated in this manner defies any semblance of fairness or acknowledgment of our 'special relationship.' I have no issue with Australia sending to the country of origin non residents, or New Zealand citizens who have transgressed the law in a serious manner; ones that have more than a year of prison, for instance, but we are hearing of NZ citizens who have lived in Australia for many years, committing low level indiscretions, been taken in the dead of night into these facilities. Sure they say that there is an appeal process but for these low-Level indiscretions, surely there os no need for such heavy handed processes, where families are split and the 'prisoners' having to mix with hardened and desperate 'companions. Now take the lack of real action on the part on NZ's Government and the problem is compounded. NZ is being treated as very much a 'junior partner' in this, in a nasty and bullying way. PM Key simply reacts in a very unbecoming manner in our Parliament and refuses to respond in a meaningful way that delivers the message as it should be; forcefully and that NZ too can put this century old relationship to the test. Yes---that is what KEY NEEDS TO DO. How else will the Aussies get the message, that our ANZAC spirit is something to be treasured, not trifled with, or ignored when it suits. I say, we respond in kind. Send back Aussies, cancel the benefits that Aussies assume as a right when they come here. It is time to look at the relationship, with the intent to restore 'equality.' Restore the spirit! Australia---you have got it wrong and My Key---front up!