An Australian news network has been criticised after it was invited on to the tarmac to see Kiwis being deported and quoted a senior Australian government minister describing the New Zealanders as "trash".
An advocate for the returnees said the report was inaccurate and could make life harder for those arriving in New Zealand, many of whom have minor convictions.
9 News was given the extraordinary access by Australia's Border Force, with journalist Jordan Fabris thrusting a microphone in front of a woman being deported and asking: "Our country doesn't want you, are you excited to go home?"
The policy, described by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as having a "corrosive" effect on transtasman relations, has been criticised for its indiscriminate nature which has seen New Zealanders who have spent a lifetime in Australia deported after committing minor offences.
The Australian Border Deaths Database, collated by Monash University, has recorded four deaths of New Zealanders associated with visa cancellations, among them a man who had been in Australia since he was a toddler.
He committed suicide 18 months after being deported to New Zealand following a prison term for a string of minor offences. He left a young child and his immediate family in Australia.
The 9 News report, which sees Fabris questioning deportees directly, also includes incendiary comment from Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who told the channel the flights were Australia's way of "taking the trash out".
"We're talking about the most serious offenders here and our country is safer for having deported them," he said.
Given the opportunity to question the female deportee, Fabris asks: "How does it feel to be kicked out of Australia?"
Told to "f*** off" by the woman, Fabris counters with: "Our country doesn't want you, are you excited to go home?"
The report shows a number of criminals being loaded on the plane, including Grant David Mitchell, a New Zealander jailed after murdering his estranged Kiwi girlfriend Nella Poli and running from police for almost 24 years.
But a woman who works with deportees in New Zealand says the report didn't accurately reflect the reality of the policy and could make life harder for returnees.
Aimee Reardon, who works with returnees in her role with Prisoners' Aid and Rehabilitation Society (PARS), told the Herald that returnees already struggled with thinking that locals recognised them or were looking at them, when that was not always the case.
She said that the report didn't accurately reflect the ratio of New Zealanders coming back with relatively minor charges, saying they form the majority of deportees - and characterised Peter Dutton's comments as "ignorant", saying the minister was "ill-informed".
She also said that racism played a part in how the policy was enforced, saying there were "ulterior motives" at play.
She said his comments would hit hard for returnees, many of whom already needed counselling to "see themselves as people" again.
She said she has spoken to one returnee was "really upset" after seeing the report and concerned that his family in Australia might see it and it might affect the perceptions of people in his new community.
9 News have been approached for comment.
Australia's deportation of criminals born in New Zealand has been a sticking point in our diplomatic relationship with "The Lucky Country" since they began enforcing the policy in 2014, under s501 of the Australian Migration Act.
Many have no links to New Zealand, having shifted to Australia at a young age and going on to have families and put down roots.
The issue came to a head early last year, when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison to task during a joint press conference.
"New Zealand and Australia's relationship is being tested," she said, pointing out disparities in many areas of how the respective countries treat each other's citizens before taking aim at Morrison over the deportation policy.
"We have a simple request. Send back Kiwis, genuine Kiwis - do not deport your people and your problems," Ardern said.
She noted that some deportees had found their way to crime years after leaving Aotearoa, noting that when they left they were "too young to become patched gang members. Too young to be organised criminals."
"We will own our people. We ask that Australia stop exporting theirs," Ardern said.
Morrison shrugged the comments off and said there would be no change as the policy was "not directed to any one country or any one nationality whatsoever".
"It is a statement of Australia's immigration and border laws that if people that are not citizens commit crimes in Australia, then they have violated the terms of being in this country."