New Zealanders who are arrested or detained in Australia can ask for consular help. But the New Zealand Government and its officials cannot intervene in the Australian justice system.

Comply with Australian law

New Zealanders travelling or living in Australia must comply with its laws and regulations. Being a New Zealand citizen does not result in any special treatment. 

The New Zealand Government and its officials cannot intervene in the justice system and law courts of Australia, resolve immigration decisions, or give legal advice. 

Visas can be cancelled

Under Australian law, any non-citizen who is convicted and sentenced to a cumulative 12 months or more in prison will have their visa mandatorily cancelled. A person’s visa can also be cancelled on other character grounds, for example for associating with members of an outlawed motorcycle gang or criminals. 

Cancelling someone’s visa often results in them being deported from Australia – this includes New Zealanders. They should keep in mind that if their visa is cancelled and any appeals they submit are not successful, it is possible they will never be given permission to enter Australia again.

New Zealand does not have any prisoner exchange agreements and cannot accept the transfer of New Zealanders from overseas prisons, including Australia.

Ask for consular help

New Zealand citizens who are arrested and detained have the right to contact the New Zealand High Commission Canberra or consulates in Australia to ask for help.

Our Australia ‘Arrest, detention, & immigration detention booklet’ for New Zealand citizens explains how we can and can’t help.