Marama Fox leads protest against harsh immigration laws in Oz

By Ripeka Timutimu

The Australian Government is breaching the human rights of detainees on Christmas Island says Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

Fox and Māori MPs from Labour are joining forces to support those affected by what they say are harsh immigration laws.

Frances Hokianga is worried for her nephew, Peina Clarke, a detainee on Christmas Island.  “Mentally they're not good, they're not good, coz they don't know when they're getting out,’ says Hokianga.

Hokianga has been supported by Māori MPs who say there's a breach of human rights and that John Key isn't doing enough.

According to Marama Fox, “He said that if human rights have been breached, those affected need to write to MFAT to address it.”

Key will meet with Australia PM Malcolm Turnbull this weekend, where the topic of detention centres like this one on Christmas Island will be put on the table. But Fox has her doubts.

“The red carpet will be rolled out, a feast put on and they'll talk about the relationship between our two countries.  But those who have made a life in Australia will continue to suffer,” added Fox.

Hokianga has just one thing to say to the government.  She says, “I refer back to our national anthem, we are the land of the free, are we?  Government need to take care of people first.”

Time will tell whether or not the Prime Minister can deliver a solution for this issue.