COMMENT:

Winston Peters has often said he's not into megaphone diplomacy but when he meets his Foreign Affairs counterpart Julie Bishop in Sydney next month let's hope he packs a megaphone - and puts it to her delicate ear.

He'd do us all a favour if he took a deep breath and bellowed at her over her country's disregard for the people of this country.

Long gone are the days when we affectionately looked across the ditch and saw the Aussies as an extension of ourselves. They've become the ugly underbelly of the friendship we once had.

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The unequal treatment of tax-paying Kiwis living there is one thing, but it's the deportation of what they say are New Zealand criminals, those who've supposedly been sentenced to more than a year in jail, that should have us all in a fury.

Their callous treatment of those with a Kiwi connection, for that's all it is on a number of occasions, is driving a major wedge between our two countries.

The latest case involves a 17-year-old kid who went to live in Australia with his parents when he was 11 - so all of his bad habits were learnt in that country. He's too young to have been sentenced to a year in jail but was about to be released from a juvenile detention centre in Sydney three months ago but was instead sent to a holding pen in Melbourne, far away from his family, and is now facing deportation.

Peters reminded the Aussies of the protocol they signed up to, the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, and said they were in clear breach of it in this case. He was asking the Australians for a fair suck of the sav, to live up to the convention they signed.

Australia's response through their moronic Home Affairs Minister, former Queensland cop Peter Dutton: The 17-year-old's "welcome to get the first flight out, we don't want him here in Australia."

Dutton says they'll make sure he's deported at the first available opportunity but at the moment his return's being delayed. Of course it is, by his lawyer wanting to keep him with his family.

We don't know what this kid's done to make him an undesirable in Australia, because he's too young, but his lawyer says it's certainly not worthy of deportation describing his indiscretions as "stock standard".

But Dutton says his primary obligation is to the Australian public "to keep Australians safe."

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That shows no regard for the safety of the New Zealand public - and it most certainly also shows the Aussies take no responsibility whatsoever for the criminal behaviour that this kid's learnt in their country.