Australia's "common sense" approach to deporting New Zealanders on character grounds won't threaten national security, with authorities to consider how long they've been in the country before booting them out.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he discussed the change with New Zealand counterpart Jacinta Ardern last year and insisted Australia would still take action if it was necessary.
The changes have been welcomed in New Zealand, whose leaders have long complained about the issue of deportations.
"That is something that was discussed with Jacinda Ardern in the first meeting that was held and we said we would apply some common sense (that) needs to be applied here between Australia and New Zealand," Mr Albanese told reporters in Perth on Wednesday.
"But we retain, of course, our right to take action on the basis that it is appropriate action."
A government representative told AAP a "common sense approach" was being taken to deportations after a shift was flagged when Labor took power last year.
"Under these changes, the Department of Home Affairs must now consider the length of time someone has lived in the Australian community as one of the primary considerations when determining whether to cancel someone's visa," the representative said.
"Where individuals pose a risk to the community, the Australian government will continue to cancel their visas and remove them."
Opposition home affairs spokeswoman Karen Andrews said the government had "gone soft on criminals".
She said the coalition had cancelled and refused more than 10,000 visas of serious criminals while in office.
"Non-citizens convicted of offences like child abuse, rape, breaching apprehended violence orders and possessing illegal weapons do not belong in our community," she said in a statement.
"Labor should protect Australian citizens and the people who live here and abide by our laws - instead of prioritising foreign nationals convicted of serious crimes who fail the character test."
Australia deports hundreds of people to New Zealand annually using a power under the Migration Act that allows the immigration minister to evict on the basis of character rather than criminal convictions.
New Zealand sees it as an abrogation of the trans-Tasman friendship, as many of those deported have little to no connection to Australia's near-neighbour.
Australian Associated Press
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