Albanese says Aus won't retrospectively address 501 issues

Chris Hipkins and Anthony Albanese in Canberra on Tuesday.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says his government won't consider policy to retrospectively undo any harm done by the controversial 501 deportees policy.

The Australian law in its current form means New Zealanders who commit serious crimes in Australia are deported to New Zealand, even if they have spent little time, or have little connection to New Zealand.

At the beginning of February, the Australian government signed off on significant changes to the policy, which would mean the duration of stay in Australia is taken into account, along with the strength of an individual's ties to Australia.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins visited Canberra on Tuesday - his first overseas trip as prime minister.

At a joint press conference, Albanese was asked if his government would consider any policy to retrospectively undo any harm that had been done by the policy to date.

The policy has been in place since 2014.

Albanese said it wouldn't.

"We retain section 501 deportations, a capacity to cancel visas and remove people who pose a risk to the community. What's changed is we will have a common sense approach.

"There is a big distinction between someone who comes to Australia, as a teen or an adult, and commits offences and someone who has zero connections back in New Zealand who might have come here as an infant."

"[Hipkins and I] had a discussion of these issues, and I believe that we have got the response right."

Hipkins said the New Zealand position had not changed from the position former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had conveyed.

"We absolutely acknowledge the changes that Australia has recently made, and we welcome those. They are common sense changes."

Hipkins later told New Zealand media his government would push for continued improvements to the policy.

He had been asked if the approach change was enforceble as it required judgment and discretion.

"We'll continue to raise the issue ... There is goodwill on the Australian side and we will continue to work with them."

He said the changes to the policy recognised New Zealand's main concerns "that we have had people deported to New Zealand who have no real connection to New Zealand ... I think the recent change in Australia to the ministerial direction recognises that, and we welcome that.

"It's a sign that the Australian Government have taken on board the concerns that we have raised. We'll continue to raise them. We'll continue to talk. But I want to acknowledge that progress is being made."