Barry Soper: Scott Morrison seems determined to turn NZ into a penal colony

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Feb 2021, 2:03PM
Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison. (Photo / Getty)
Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison. (Photo / Getty)

Barry Soper: Scott Morrison seems determined to turn NZ into a penal colony

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Feb 2021, 2:03PM

If you've ever wondered whether the commonly held belief that Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison was responsible for the slogan 100% Pure New Zealand, then forget it.

ScoMo did work for Tourism New Zealand in the late 90s when the slogan was conceived and has claimed credit for it but those of us who were around at the time knew it came from those whose job it was dream up slogans of that sort,  M&C Saatchi.

ScoMo was brought to Wellington by the former dark ops Tourism Minister Murray McCully but ended his contract a year early after a whispering campaign with his political boss got rid of the three top men at the organisation.

Ask Queenstown's current Mayor Jim Boult who was called in to try and plug the leaks in the ship's hull. At the time ScoMo called it quits, the place was in a mess with the new Tourism Minister Trevor Mallard, no less, blaming Morrison for it.

Perhaps it's utu but since becoming Prime Minister Morrison's hardly been a friend of New Zealand, determined to tarnish its pure image by turning the country into the penal colony Australia once was.

Up until a few years ago the Comancheros bikie gang was unheard on in this country. The policy of deporting so called Kiwi criminals, some of whom have never spent time in this country, is changing the tattooed face of crime here.

A year ago Jacinda Ardern stood next to a smirking Morrison with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background telling him our relationship was being tested because of their "corrosive" policy.

Clearly Morrison wasn't swayed because, unbeknown to us,  these two had already talked privately about this woman who had taken off to Syria.  This woman was born in New Zealand, went to Australia with family when she was six, became a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand, but travelled to Syria on an Australian passport.

They were talking about a strategy to deal with it when she was inevitably arrested, or that's what Ardern thought. But without consultation Australia revoked her citizenship and when our PM was told, she was on the phone to ScoMo, saying when the woman's arrested she'll have some strong words to say publicly the revocation.

So the woman's now incarcerated in Turkey as a terrorist, she and her two children are now our responsibility.

The strong words from Ardern: "Any fair minded person would consider this person an Australian and that is my view too.

"Australia has abdicated its responsibilities in relation to this person and I have personally made that point to Prime Minister Morrison."

Well, at least the phone's still on the hook, even if the recipient of the call is deaf.

Morrison knows, with two children involved, Ardern will have no choice but to bring her much repeated slogan into play - be kind to each other - and allow the terrorist to return to the country she left as a child.

There's one word absent from the Australian vocabulary - responsibility!