Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts 'a bit simple' to call for Kiwi immigration controls, says Labour's Kelvin Davis

Labour's Kelvin Davis, left, and One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts. Photos / Supplied
Labour's Kelvin Davis, left, and One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts. Photos / Supplied

An Australian senator's call for immigration controls on Kiwis to be reviewed in response to a UN resolution on Israeli settlements is "absolutely nuts", Labour says.

Kelvin Davis, who as Labour's Corrections spokesman has campaigned against deportations of New Zealand citizens from Australia, said One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts was "a bit simple" whose time in politics is "denying a village somewhere in Australia of its idiot".

"We shouldn't be surprised at One Nation's low IQ politics ... New Zealand at the UN stood up for what they believe is right. One Nation stands for hate and division and brighter people than Malcolm Roberts have decided the way to peace is not to engage in conflict," Davis told Newstalk ZB.

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Aussie political party calls for Kiwis to be punished over UN resolution

New Zealand co-sponsored a resolution in the United Nations Security Council last month criticising Israeli settlements as violating international law and undermining a two-state solution with Palestine.

The resolution was passed 14-0 at the last council meeting of 2016, and New Zealand's last meeting in its two-year term as an elected member of the Security Council. Crucially, the US abstained.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his foreign ministry to temporarily limit ties with the 12 UNSC members that voted in favour of the resolution, being Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand.

Roberts, a member of Pauline Hanson's party who represents Queensland, said the Australian Government needs to apply pressure to ensure New Zealand "doesn't do this kind of thing in the future", saying a tougher immigration policy "would stop Kiwis from establishing settlements in Australia".

One Nation has previously called for immigration changes to make it easier for New Zealanders to get citizenship and social security.

"The real message in this is to our federal government in Canberra - you need to work more closely with the Kiwi Government to prevent them doing this kind of thing that undermines Israel's existence," Roberts told Newstalk ZB today.

"New Zealand, by fostering this resolution has undermined the peace effort in the Middle East. We are tired of the Israelis being kicked around, and the Jewish people being kicked around for centuries - murdered and persecuted."

Roberts - who opposes Australia's membership in the UN because the organisation had "the opportunity to become a global government" - said the resolution condemning settlements was akin to "us coming in and annexing Eden Park".

The United Nations maintains that Israeli settlements are illegal, but UN officials have reported a surge in construction over the past months. About 430,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and a further 200,000 Israelis live in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as the capital of their future state.

Days after Washington abstained in the vote on the UN resolution, US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech accusing Israel of putting the two-state solution "in serious jeopardy" by building "in the middle of what, by any reasonable definition, would be the future Palestinian state".

However, President-elect Donald Trump has signalled he could make a break with decades of US policy and end American objections to the settlements, tweeting "Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!" before the Kerry speech.

Meanwhile, vandalism to Foreign Minister and East Coast Bays MP Murray McCully's office following the UN resolution has been cleaned up.

A photograph posted to Reddit shows graffiti on the frontage of McCully's electorate office in Browns Bay, calling him a "traitor" and "Jew hater".

A spokesman for McCully said the damage was reported to the landlord, who removed the spray paint yesterday. He did not know if the incident had been referred to the Police.

Referring to the vandalism, former National MP Tau Henare, who left Parliament in 2014, tweeted: "Dear #Israel, Welcome to #Democracy, the world called you out on the #illegalsettlements".

- NZ Herald

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