Simon Bridges made a big song and dance about reciprocity for how New Zealand deals with Aussie criminals in New Zealand. He said loud and long that we should be sending them home like the Aussies do to Kiwi criminals. When asked about the one obvious case, that of loopy, weirdo and terrorist, Brenton Tarrant, he walked back his previous position:

National leader Simon Bridges can’t see any good reason not to deport Australians convicted of serious crimes in New Zealand, but says the alleged Christchurch shooter should serve time in Aotearoa if he is found guilty.

Earlier this week, Bridges said that if National is elected on September 19, his Government would explore a law where people could have their visas cancelled on character grounds. 

This would be similar to amendments made to Australia’s Migration Act in 2014 which has led to Kiwis convicted of crime across the Tasman being sent back to New Zealand. That policy was infamously called “corrosive” to Australia-New Zealand relations by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, something Bridges doesn’t agree with.

More than 1500 Kiwis have been deported back to New Zealand since the Australian law was enacted, with Bridges saying some hadn’t been in Aotearoa for decades. […]

Asked where the alleged Christchurch shooter – an Australian – should serve time if convicted of the multiple charges against him, Bridges said he should stay in New Zealand.

“Here’s the thing. He was here only two years, my understanding, so he might be covered, but what Australia did in 2014 was they substantially lifted their rules.

“If you were an Aussie in New Zealand and you have been here a decade, we can never deport you, not even in that extreme case.”

Newshub

Typical from Bridges, he can’t hold a single position from one day to the next. He’s like the proverbial town mongrel chasing every passing car.

The thing is, the law already exists to export scumbags, so he really was barking at passing cars. When given a chance to ram home his position he quivered like a dog crapping razor blades.

This is one Aussie that really does need to be sent home. Why should we be supporting him for years and have him polluting our prison system? Bridges is utterly inconsistent and his policy statements have more holes in them than a colander.

If I were a teacher marking his position on this issue I’d give him a D, must try harder. It must be utterly shameful being a National caucus member watching Bridges trip over his own positions. No wonder their donations have dried up and MPs are talking openly about how badly Bridges is received on the doorsteps of their electorates.

It is a simple and binary position to support. We need to match our deeds with those of the Aussie government. Somehow Simon Bridges turned a plus into an embarrassing gaffe. How much longer are National’s caucus going to put up with embarrassing back downs like this?

The BFD. All mouth and no trousers. Photoshopped image credit Xavier

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