New Zealand-Australia row erupts over 'terrorist' dual national
Feb 16 2021
The 40-year-old leader said Australia had "abdicated its responsibilities" by unilaterally cancelling the citizenship, forcing New Zealand to shoulder the responsibility for the woman, who has not lived in New Zealand since she was 6.
New Zealand is unable to simply follow Australia's lead and cancel the woman's citizenship and that of her children; that would make the woman stateless, something barred by global law.
The New Zealand leader spoke tersely of her frustrations with Morrison, saying "New Zealand frankly is exhausted of having Australia export its problems", citing what she sees as an abrogation of responsibly to a citizen who left Australia to allegedly align with the Islamic State terror group.
"They left New Zealand at the age of six, were resident in Australia from that time, became an Australian citizen, left from Australia to Syria, and travelled on an Australian passport", she said.
The leader said she had personally told Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Australia had "abdicated its responsibilities in relation to this person". "I think all Australians would agree with that".
Ardern told reporters today that she wanted the two governments to come to an agreement for how to deal with dual citizens who could be terrorists.
She summed up by saying: "New Zealand frankly, is exhausted of having Australia exporting its problems".
"Exactly what their status would be is something that should be clarified for a start".
Mr Morrison said he was scheduled to speak with Ms Ardern today.
"You'd have to go back to Muldoon when the skirmishes between Australia and New Zealand were as frequent as they seem to be at the moment".
"This is an individual known to Australian and New Zealand authorities for some time".
"I think New Zealand, frankly, is exhausted of having Australia export its problems.
You can imagine my response", Ardern said.
"We have continually raised with Australia our view that the decision was wrong", she said. She was accompanied by two small children. "Australia did not act in good faith".
"The welfare of the children also needs to be at the forefront in this situation".
Legislation in Australia automatically cancels a dual-citizen's citizenship when they engage in terrorism, he said.
Ardern said she has expressed her concerns to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and that the two countries should be working more closely on these types of cases involving dual nationals.
"Australia's interest here is that we do not want to see terrorists who fought with terrorism organisations enjoying privileges of citizenship", he said. "But now there are two children involved so we have to resolve this issue with those two children in mind".
Islamic Women's Council's Danzeisen linked Australia's action over the 26-year-old with its 501 programme that has seen it strip its passports from New Zealand-born criminals and send them back over the Tasman.
If it was left to New Zealand's Islamic community to help the woman, then it would, she said, but believed it would be better with Australia's involvement.