Australian hīkoi to highlight migration issues

By Harata Brown
  • Australia

Māori based in Oz are set to hit the road to highlight the treatment New Zealanders face under Australia's migration rules. Labour’s Corrections spokesman Kelvin Davis is also jumping on board.

"Our primary goal is to raise awareness about the injustices our relations are facing, especially those caught up in Australia's Correction Facilities,” says Davis.

The Labour MP will meet up with other Māori across the ditch to launch Route 501, a six-week hikoi or convoy that's stopping at 12 different locations across Australia.

The trans-Tasmin tour, which raises awareness about Australia's Migration Act, will kick off tomorrow in Sydney.

One of the organisers of Route 501, Erina Morunga says, “We are reaching a point where there has been so many, even hundreds of whānau (who have been) affected. We really feel it's urgent and it's best that this is taken to the people." 

Section 501 of Australia's Migration Act can refuse or cancel visas on the grounds of a character test, where a person is suspected to be not of good character. As a result, Morunga says anyone can have their visas revoked on the basis of suspicion.

"And the Government don't actually have to tell you what information they have on you."

Mr Davis says it’s just not right that a person can be imprisoned without going to court.

“Some are just thrown in those slums and at the end of their time, they are also thrown in jail. That is one huge injustice being undertaken by The Australian Government.

Route 501 will also arrive in Auckland New Zealand on the 21st of April 2016.