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  • Writer's pictureDessie

New Zealanders promised an easier stay in Australia

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

Common sense is the approach that the Albanese Labor Government has said it would take with New Zealand citizens by improving citizenship pathways between the two countries and a deadline of Anzac Day 2023 has been set.

Following Prime Minster Albanese’s meeting with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern he announced that there would be more collaboration than had been experienced under the previous government.

One of the hiccups in the system was Australia’s use of section 501 of the Migration Act which was used to deport New Zealanders convicted of criminal offences back to New Zealand. This happened in many cases to people who had lived and grown up in Australia some with few if any ties to New Zealand.

However, Mr Albanese has said there will be no changes to the Act, but more common sense will be employed. The previous government had deported 166 New Zealanders in just 12 months (between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021).

He also said that his government was open to extending voting rights to NZ residents and would ask the parliament’s joint standing committee on electoral matter to consider this. Australians have voting rights in New Zealand after being a resident there for 12 months.

New Zealand citizens have the right to live, work and visit Australia for an indefinite period but don’t have complete access to social security, they can’t vote or join the Australian Defence Forces. This was not always the case it changed in 2001 before that they had a clear path to citizenship and could access social security.

Around 13 percent of New Zealand’s population live in Australia out of a population of just over 5 million, so this affects a lot of people.

No detail has been forthcoming on how things may change but there is not much time left with less than nine months to the 25 April 2023 deadline.

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