New Zealand and Australia have a reciprocal open immigration agreement between our citizens though it must be said that the traffic is mostly one way, Kiwis seeking adventure and opportunity and the bright lights of Sydney and Melbourne and in more recent years, Brisbane. We’re a reasonably well behaved and hard working bunch generally so it mostly works out pretty well for all concerned.
There’s a recent high profile exception to that rule.
In 1977 at the tender age of 12 months old, Patricia Carol Toia moved to Australia from New Zealand with her family.
In the 30 years since that time the delightful Ms Toia, who is a heroin addict, has racked up a truly impressive rap sheet - she’s been convicted of hundreds of crimes and has done an impressive 30 stints in Australian jails. In fact 56 of her convictions relate to crimes she committed while in jail. Toia has never held a driver licence but has so many driving convictions that she’s been banned from driving until 2060.
Anyway, the game is now up and the Australian government wants rid of her.
Toia appealed deportation to New Zealand on the grounds that she has no family nor friends here, in fact no connections of any kind. She’s never been back to NZ in 30 years. Too bad says the Administrative Appeals Tribunal which recently voted to uphold the original 2004 deportation decision and return Ms Toia to the land of the long white cloud.
"She is a threat to the Australian community and Australia deserves protection against her given that the risk of recidivism is, as must be obvious, very substantial indeed.”
Last week Toia was flown ‘home’ to her country of birth on a charter jet. She was accompanied by three New South Wales security officers and two departmental officials.
Welcome home honey.
I understand that when we’re visitors anywhere we should behave nicely and obey the rules but surely it can be said that Toia is an Australian for all intents and purposes. She lived there all her life and despite the fact her parents never applied for citizenship for her, as they were entitled to do on her behalf at anytime through her childhood, she is certainly more Australian than Kiwi.
Bad call Immigration Minister Mr Chris Evans.