The Turks don’t want her, after she crossed the border into that country from Syria.
The Aussies don’t want her, even though her family moved to Australia when she was six and she grew up there before departing for Syria in 2014 on an Australian passport. They cancelled her citizenship.
But she had dual citizenship and – we are told – New Zealand is unable to remove citizenship from a person and leave them stateless.
Unable? Or morally disinclined to leave them stateless?
And would a government less committed to wellbeing and kindliness make the same decision?
Never mind. In the upshot, the decision has been made and the woman and her family will be coming to live in this country.
Should we be worried?
The word “ISIS” did not appear in the PM’s press statement, which was blandly headed Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens.
Nor was the woman named.
Stuff, more alarmingly, reported the news under the heading Government to accept alleged Isis ‘terrorist’ Suhayra Aden and two children from Turkey
The introductory paragraphs said:
The Government will accept the return of a woman who joined Isis and her two children, as Turkey intends to deport them.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in a statement issued on Monday afternoon, said Cabinet had agreed to a “managed return” of the woman – 26-year-old Suhayra Aden – and her two children, after Turkey requested they be repatriated.
This news from the Beehive followed weekend announcements that –
- The PM and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei to announce $100 million for Short Term Roll Growth classrooms at schools across New Zealand and announce the first school to benefit from a $150 million top-up for shovel-ready school property projects.
- Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff attended the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange, which will enable Aucklanders with access to the rail network “to have a quick and convenient trip to the airport”.
Fresh out of the Beehive, as we prepared this post, came the news that Cabinet has agreed to the “managed return” of the woman in Turkey and her two young children.
The Cabinet appears to have reached this decision carefully, perhaps reluctantly, no doubt aware of how discomforting the news will be to Kiwis who are reminded of the ISIS connection.
“The safety and wellbeing of New Zealanders is paramount for the Government,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“New Zealand has not taken this step lightly. We have taken into account our international responsibilities as well as the details of this particular case, including the fact that children are involved.”
“While negotiations with Australia have taken place, extensive contingency planning has been underway involving the Police and several other agencies and the Government wants to be as upfront with people as it can be about the planned return.
“I can assure people great care is being taken as to how the woman and her young children are returned to New Zealand and how they will be managed in a way that minimises any risk for New Zealanders.
“Planning by agencies has been two-fold – to ensure all appropriate steps are in place to address potential security concerns and to have the right services in place to support reintegration, with particular focus on the wellbeing of the children.
“A number of other countries have managed the return of mothers and children from the region, and this is the position we now find ourselves in.”
The bottom line seems to be that they are not Turkey’s responsibility and they have become our responsibility because Australia refused to accept the family.
“Agreeing to a managed return was the right step in this case, but we reserve the right to look at any future cases on a case-by-case basis based on the best interests of New Zealand.
“In this case the welfare and best interests of the children has been a primary concern,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Oh – but let’s not forget …
“It has previously been made clear that any New Zealander who might be suspected of association with a terrorist group should expect to be investigated under New Zealand law, but that would be a matter for the Police,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Latest from the Beehive
Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.
The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate the family.
Details about arrangements or timing to bring the family home will not be made public, and legal and operational reasons mean particulars of security arrangements in place for when they arrive cannot be disclosed.
Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say.
The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei at the weekend to announce $100 million for Short Term Roll Growth classrooms at schools across New Zealand and announce the first school to benefit from a $150 million top up for shovel ready school property projects.
A summary of projects announced:
- Almost $7 million for a shovel ready project at Kamo High School;
- More than $4 million for seven Short Term Roll Growth (STRG) classrooms at four schools:
- Ruakākā School – two short term roll growth classrooms
- Oruaiti School – one short term roll growth classroom
- Te Rangi Aniwaniwa – two short term roll growth classrooms
- Whangārei Intermediate – two short term roll growth classrooms
Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange.
The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus area via a new elevated forecourt, making it easy to transfer. It also includes new lighting, public toilets, drop off zones, better shelter, along with improved facilities and access for cyclists and pedestrians.
The interchange is part of the Southwest Gateway Short-Term Airport Access Improvements (STAAI) programme of works, which is being delivered in partnership with Waka Kotahi and Auckland International Airport Limited.
The total cost of the project was $69 million, funded through Waka Kotahi NZTA, Auckland Council, the regional fuel tax and the COVID Recovery and Relief Fund.