A group of Manus Island asylum seekers are luring underage girls as young as 10 into sex, an Australian Government intelligence report claims.
The Australian Government has confirmed the accuracy of the diplomatic cable, obtained by The Australian Financial Review and Stuff.
However, the timing of the leak, and several others in Australian publications, suggests rising levels of frustration within the Australian Government that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was putting undue pressure on a domestic Australian policy issue.
Jacinda has turned this into a real aggravation between the two countries with her inexperience. Diplomacy is about looking for solutions palatable to both countries, that allow both countries to claim a “win”. Trying to browbeat our closest neighbour and friend to reverse a policy which is deemed fundamental to their border security will achieve nothing except pissing them off.
The report was concerned that male camp residents were travelling into the community to procure sex with underage girls.
It states that “some residents were renting rooms throughout Lorengau and luring underage girls between 10 and 17 years of age, with money, goods and food”.
While the report states police were unable to investigate the claims because they had not been reported, the local provincial health authority had written to the provincial police commander expressing concerns about “increased interaction between the residents and the young girls from a health perspective, saying they had seen an increase in sexually transmitted infections and HIV”.
So Labour wants to reduce the number of skilled immigrants coming to NZ, and reduce the number of foreign student but take 150 people from Manus Island. What a great policy.
According to the cable, Manus Island residents were also “unhappy with the stigma attached to the girls who engaged in the activities and the number of children born from the ‘relationships’ (reported at least 10 at the time of our last visit)”.
That’s ok. If their Dads move to NZ, they’ll be able to come also!
Ardern has been increasingly insistent Australia should let New Zealand take some of the 600 asylum seekers remaining on Manus Island, following the closure of Australia’s Regional Processing Centre.
It is understood the Turnbull Government is furious with what it views as Ardern’s “moral posturing and naivety” on the matter.
Yet much of the NZ media are reporting what a diplomatic success the PM is. If this is success, I’d hate to see failure.
Australian government sources say they are extremely concerned about the messages Ardern is sending to people smugglers.
“The smugglers are watching every interaction between governments in the region on this issue and looking for a chance to restart their businesses,” one senior Australian Government source said.
“They observe the statements of new leaders very closely and if they see a sign of policies shifting or changing, they take advantage of that.”
Yep. Policies and resolve of Governments matter. 1,200 people drowned during the previous policy.
A spokesman for Ardern said “the relationship with Australia is strong”.
This belongs to the same category as “We were sure we had the numbers, we just didn’t want a contested vote for Speaker”.