Matthew Tukaki backs Mahuta's blast at Aussie counterpart for treatment of NZ deportees

By Te Ao - Māori News

Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki

The war of words between the Australian and New Zealand governments over Kiwis being deported from across the ditch has moved up another notch.

Recently on Australian TV Australian Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton dismissed the controversial section 501 deportation policy as "taking out the trash." 

Now Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta is rebuking that comment, saying it only serves to trash Dutton's reputation, with Mahuta going on to call the policy "deplorable."

Māori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki was on Te Ao Tapatahi this morning and backed up what Nanaia Mahuta said about her Australian counterpart. 

"Dutton is notorious in being like that Darth Vader character from Star Wars in Canberra, who has little feeling, no compassion whatsoever, and no real understanding of the fact that it was the Australian environment that created these criminals." 

Source: Queensland

'Wrap love around them'

There had been a number of people who have killed themselves in Aotearoa as a result of being deported, some completely alone, all of their family left behind in Australia.

Tukakai is already concerned about Aotearoa's mental health issues but he also believes this country needs to be doing a lot more to support the 501s. 

"When these people do come home, the first thing we need to do is not treat them like pariahs.

"Let's give them the opportunity to restart, reboot their lives. Let's wrap our love around them.

"I fear unless we get this mental health plan sorted out in this country, more of our young people are going to end up lost to us, and that devastates me."