Monday, February 28, 2005

Citizen to go

The Dominion Post says that John Burrett, the notorious "bunker-in-the-bush" kidnap plotter, is to be deported.
Immigration Minister Paul Swain—whose Rimutaka electorate includes where the bunker was built—personally signed Burrett's deportation order.
Permanent removal of a criminal through deportation has the one big advantage of the death penalty, without the killing. But, to my mind, there's a problem - apparently, John Burrett is a New Zealand citizen.
Authorities are now free to deport the British-born New Zealand citizen when he becomes eligible for parole in about two years.
So, either the press have it wrong, or the government is now deporting its own citizens.

No surprise, really. This government alsoFortunately, Burrett holds dual citizenship, so there's some place he can go. If he didn't, there would be nowhere to deport him to, and the government would stand in contravention of the 1954 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, to which we are signatories, and the 1961 Convention that seeks to reduce the incidence of stateless persons.

So, are there two kinds of New Zealand citizenship? Exactly how bad do you have to be to risk having your citizenship revoked? Damn it, I'm going to have to write to Paul Swain...


At 9:47 pm, Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

The Immigration Act 1987 is absolutely clear. No NZ citizen is liable to removal or deportation from New Zealand in any circumstances. I suspect the media has got its facts wrong, as I doubt even an Immigration Minister could be ignorant of something so fundamental.

At 1:39 pm, Blogger Hans Versluys said...

Perhaps one could campaign to abolish the privilege of being able to hold dual citizenship (something my own country of birth denies me) so there is nowhere to deport citizens to (maybe Tokelau in a hurricane or NZ's base on Antarctica could be suitable punishments)

At 1:31 pm, Blogger Rich said...

I'd say that dual citizenship is a right not a privilege - if you spend several years living in a country and wish to become a citizen, you should be allowed. Equally, you shouldn't lose citizenship just because you have formed an attachment to another country.

It would be sensible if NZ introduced a new status of Irrevocable Permanent Residence with most of the rights of citizenship but not the name. This would allow people from countries such as Australia and Holland to establish their attachment to NZ without losing their birth rights.

(The main disadvantage to being a permanent resident is that you can't leave NZ for an extended period without losing your residence rights).

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