Guest Post: New Zealanders living in Australia.

August 19th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

A guest post by Gary Lindsay:

As many of the readership probably already know, the rights of the 300,000-odd New Zealanders who have moved to since the 26th of February 2001 have been in the news on this side of the Tasman in the last few days.  It’s primarily been driven by K-Rudd’s brother Greg, who put out a press release on Saturday saying that Aussies were “ungrateful bastards.”  As somebody who has personal experience of this situation, and who also has friends and families in the same situation, I’d like to put some facts about the problem out there, and also offer some solutions.

Some background first.  Prior to 1973 there was an informal arrangement between the two countries, and free movement between them.  In 1973 the situation was formalised with the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.  On the 1st of July 1981 the requirement to carry passports was introduced by the Australian government.  In 1984 New Zealanders lost the right to register to vote in Australia (people who had previously registered can still vote).  On a side note, it might actually be unconstitutional to deny a New Zealander the right to vote in a federal election, since New Zealand is still defined as a state in the constitution of Australia (look at the definitions and clauses 8, 30, and 41) but it hasn’t been tested in court.  That’s another story.  On the 1st of September 1994 the Australian government introduced a new visa for New Zealanders, the subclass 444 visa, otherwise known as the “Special Category Visa.”  It was introduced because of a change in the Migration Act requiring all non-citizens to hold a visa.  Prior to the 1st September 1994 New Zealanders were considered “exempt non citizens” and were treated exactly the same as Australians, except for being allowed to vote.  The new 444 visa had no practical effect on New Zealanders moving to Australia, it simply grants a visa when there was no previous visa.  The visa was (and still is) granted at the border, with New Zealanders being processed the same as Australians at the border.  At the time it was convenient to class the visa as a “long term temporary” visa, since a new one is issued every time a New Zealander (who is not a citizen or on a different permanent residency visa) crosses the border.  For all practical purposes New Zealanders living in Australia were still considered permanent residents.

In 2001 the Howard government was under pressure to act on a public perception that deadshits from New Zealand were crossing the Tasman to live on the dole and smoke pot.  According to some sources, John Howard said at there was no such problem; however I have not been able to find a credible link to confirm that.  There was also a very real problem of people who were unable to gain Australian residency being granted New Zealand residency, becoming a citizen, and crossing the Tasman to live in Australia.  Despite negotiations between the two countries, the Clark government would not change its immigration policy (and I believe it still remains the same), so the Howard government made new New Zealand immigrants ineligible for welfare payments from the 26th of February 2001.  There are now two classes of 444 Special Category Visa.  If the New Zealander was in Australia or was temporarily absent from Australia (i.e. they usually lived there) on the 26th of February 2001 they are granted a Protected Special Category Visa, and if not they get a normal SCV.  The distinction is actually defined in the Social Security Act – the distinction is not mentioned in any migration law or regulation.  Since then, there have been several other benefits, such as disaster relief payments, that have been denied to New Zealanders because they are long term temporary residents and not permanent residents. 

Earlier this year the Gillard government announced the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will pay a benefit to any person who is disabled.  It will be paid for by an additional levy on income tax.  But guess what?  444 visa holders have to pay the levy, but will never get access to a payout if they become disabled.  Other temporary visa holders, such as 457 (skilled temporary) visa holders, do not have to pay the levy.

The Australian government is inconsistent with how it treats people on unprotected 444 visas.  On one hand the Tax Office treats them as residents for tax purposes – that is, they have to pay exactly the same as an Australian on the same income.  The first home owner’s grant is available to all people on 444 visas.  New Zealanders get the same subsidy for tertiary education.  On the other hand, New Zealanders can’t borrow money through the HECS scheme to study at university.  Many welfare benefits are not available – the dole is not available at all, no matter how long that person has lived in Australia.  Unprotected 444 visa holders were unable to access the emergency payments for people who were caught out in the 2011 Brisbane floods.  An unprotected 444 visa holder cannot get a carer’s pension, even if the person they are caring for is an Australian.  On the other hand, if the person being cared for is an unprotected 444 holder, any other permanent resident or a citizen can get a carer’s pension.  In addition, a child born in Australia to two New Zealand parents is not automatically an Australian citizen until they have lived in Australia until age 11.  If a 444 visa holder wants to move to another country, he cannot cash out his compulsory super like other temporary residents (and permanent residents who cancel their visas) can.  Additionally, it is not possible for an unprotected 444 visa holder to access his or her super in a time of severe financial hardship since the criteria for severe financial hardship requires him to be on a Centrelink benefit, which is not possible because he is on an unprotected 444 visa!  As I mentioned, Australia will sometimes consider someone on an unprotected 444 visa a permanent resident; and as a temporary resident when it suits them.

Furthermore, it is not possible to apply to be an Australian citizen if you are on an unprotected 444 visa.  To get citizenship you need to have lived in Australia for two of the previous five years, with one of those years being on a permanent residency visa.  If it was possible to obtain citizenship this wouldn’t even be a discussion – the answer would be “apply for citizenship and shut up.”  That is exactly what most would do, if it was possible.

The only option for obtaining citizenship is to become a permanent resident first.  In the interests of full disclosure, it *might* be possible for me to get a 186 employer nominated permanent visa (it was initially intended as the next stage for 457 visa holders).  I will have to get my employer on board to make it happen.  I am planning on discussing it with my supervisor this week.  Having recently graduated with a masters’ degree in geotechnical engineering I might also be able to get the 175 independent skilled migrant visa; however that will require leaving my stable and well paying job as an exploration geologist to become a graduate engineer.  I have enough points to do it, but “geologist” is not on the Skilled Occupation List but “engineer” is.  Both those visas cost over $3000.  I am one of the lucky ones.  There are many others who cannot get a permanent visa at all, including people who run their own businesses.  These people have chosen to make Australia their home, they live and work here, but there is no option for them to make it formal.

Many people will be thinking “well, you knew about that when you moved there.”  Yes, I did.  And yes, Australia offers a better lifestyle for many New Zealanders than New Zealand does.  But after six years, it has begun to grate on me.  It pisses me off that there’s yet another government scheme that I have to pay for (the NDIS) but won’t ever be able to access – I have private insurance to cover that (and to be honest, I think that if Australians insured against it then we wouldn’t need the NDIS, but that’s a discussion for another day).  It annoys me that I pay a shitload of tax every year and have no say in how it is spent.  It further annoys me that I am paying tax so that deadshit Australians can live on the dole and bitch about how New Zealanders should go home.  It also annoys me that there are thousands of Australians who say things like “we should be giving jobs to our own first” when those people without jobs either don’t want to work or are too useless to show up to work.  If you don’t believe me, read the comments from the Courier Mail article (first hyperlink).
I have some ideas for solutions to this problem.  The bit from here on in is entirely my opinion.
Ideally, 444 visa holders could become “protected” after (say) five years of living and supporting themselves in Australia, which would allow them apply for citizenship.  Alternatively a new permanent visa could be created for 444 visa holders to apply for after they’ve been in the country for a certain amount of time, much like the 186 visa is available for 457 visa holders.
The 444 visa could be restricted to people who were New Zealanders at birth, which would remove the original rationale for the change.
The New Zealand government could make their immigration policy more compatible with Australia’s.
The Australian government could give 444 visa holders the right to vote.  That won’t happen unless there’s a high court decision that the current arrangement is unconstitutional, or there is a simultaneous change to the status quo, since kiwis will vote for whoever will serve their purpose best.  The second option won’t happen because there are probably a million Australian voters who disagree with that.

Additionally, the New Zealand political parties should be paying more attention to New Zealanders living in Australia.  There are about 600,000 living here (the additional 300,000 have protected 444 visas and don’t have the problems I have been talking about).  Most of them still have the right to vote in New Zealand, since the only requirement is to return to New Zealand once every three years.  Those 600,000 people are the equivalent to the population of eleven New Zealand electorates.  That is a shitload of constituents who are basically ignored.  At the very least, the New Zealand government should be actively and publicly pressuring the Australian government to give unprotected 444 visa holders a pathway to citizenship.
Additionally, I would like to see list MPs based in Gold Coast (where 50% of the population originate from New Zealand), Sydney (where there are 150-200,000 New Zealanders), and Perth (about the same).  Their role would be to lobby the federal and state governments in Australia, and to represent the interests of ex-pats in parliament in New Zealand.

I hope that this op-ed has helped to highlight the legal issues that New Zealand migrants to Australia have.   I still think it is worth living here, however it’d be nice to be able to call myself an Australian and to be able to have a say in how the thousands of dollars I am required to give Canberra each year are spent.

d

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62 Responses to “Guest Post: New Zealanders living in Australia.”

  1. straya (61 comments) says:

    You have a choice: accept that you are a guest in our country, and subject to the conditions we choose to impose on that privilege, or go home. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but I’d never dream of moving to NZ as a non-citizen resident and then start complaining about being shut out of my “rights” to vote or to welfare.

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  2. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    straya – that’s the point. I can’t just go to the citizen shop and become a citizen, it is simply not possible.

    Additionally, Australians are able to get benefits after 2 years and apply for citizenship after 3 if they move to New Zealand.

    You also didn’t read my last paragraph.

    You’re either trolling or you’re a retard.

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  3. straya (61 comments) says:

    Also, your argument that NZ’ers have a right to vote under the constitution is just wrong.

    The assertion never been tested because there is simply no basis for it.

    Section 8 of the consitution defines the states as follows – “The States shall mean such of the colonies of New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia, including the northern territory of South Australia, as for the time being are parts of the Commonwealth, and such colonies or territories as may be admitted into or established by the Commonwealth as States; and each of such parts of the Commonwealth shall be called a State.”

    New Zealand has never been admitted or established by the Commonwealth as a state. Reference to NZ was included when the constitution was drafted in the 1890s so that NZ had the option to join the commonwealth, but that was never taken up.

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  4. Linda Reid (396 comments) says:

    Thank you Gary – I have one son already living in Brisbane, and a second moving to Townsville shortly. I have sent them this post. Very useful to have an understanding of how it works.

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  5. Cunningham (821 comments) says:

    Gary, I have some sympathy but I don’t see why our government should spend time trying to fix this issue. It is between the people who live (and pay tax) there and the Australian government.

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  6. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    If people want to leave NZ and go somewhere else to live for economic reasons, then it’s their problem, not ours. I’d support cancelling NZ citizenship after 5 years spent abroad.

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  7. Bazar (38 comments) says:

    @cunningham
    The government, among other tasks is supposed to represent our people.
    Now unless you believe that by moving to australia they are no longer kiwi’s (and they aren’t/can’t be aussies) , the government has a duty to represent our across the ditch kiwis.

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  8. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    Tom – Your idea to cancel citizenship after 5 years abroad would create an economic problem for New Zealand in that it would prevent a portion of those who wish to come back from doing so, thereby missing out on the tax they would’ve paid. I think there’d also be an issue of creating individuals without any citizenship – something that the rest of the UN would not look kindly on.

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  9. Linda Reid (396 comments) says:

    I agree with Gary that there should be a path to citizenship – that rest does not matter if there is a path they can follow. The problem is not having a way to become a permanent resident or citizen

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  10. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    The surveillance grid is really what is prohibiting open borders between Oz and NZ. Can’t have people disappearing off the grid

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  11. Redbaiter (7,643 comments) says:

    “I’d support cancelling NZ citizenship after 5 years spent abroad.”

    Its not just only economic conditions that make NZ a second choice Tom, but also that many of the population think like you, a disgusting Stalinist not far removed in thinking from those who built the wall around East Berlin.

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  12. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see some movement after the election (assuming a Coalition win).

    Although it was Howard who became stingy, I would see the Coalition as having more to gain in that these are obviously people with enough independent thought and self responsibility to move country in the first place, enough work ethic and valuable skills to work without a social safety net and a greater than average stake in Australia’s continued economic success. They would vote “right” more than “left” I would think.

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  13. nasska (10,696 comments) says:

    Gary Lindsay in his post provides the real reason Kiwis are discriminated against.

    …” There was also a very real problem of people who were unable to gain Australian residency being granted New Zealand residency, becoming a citizen, and crossing the Tasman to live in Australia. Despite negotiations between the two countries, the Clark government would not change its immigration policy “…..

    As long as we are prepared to accept the uneducated & unmotivated, overbreeding dregs of society as immigrants we can hardly expect things to change.

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  14. Cunningham (821 comments) says:

    Bazar (33) Says:

    “the government has a duty to represent our across the ditch kiwis.”

    I agree for some things they should, but this is a visa issue between AU and the individuals who go there. While they are in Australia, they pay no tax to NZ yet the NZ government is expected to use its time and resources to try and do something it? They always have the option to come back if they don’t like it. Getting involved in an issue like this seems to be a bit beyond the scope IMO.

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  15. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    Cunningham – yes, it is primarily an issue between the Commonwealth government and a portion of unrepresented taxpayers. That said, it is one of the Clark government’s legacies as to why this came about – they did nothing about people using New Zealand as a stepping stone to Australia, which was why the Howard government had to be seen to be doing something. Both governments are partly to blame, and both governments should be doing something about it.

    Bazar – I am still a voter in New Zealand and will continue to vote there. That vote is the only one I get. I will be quite happy to prostitute my vote to whichever right leaning party will make this an issue in NZ. I think that the New Zealand government should be trying to do something for hudreds of thousands of its constituents who would benefit from a change.

    Tom Jackson – nobody likes you and you never have anything constructive to say.

    Linda – yes it would be good if there was a pathway to citizenship, that’s all I am asking for. That, and recognition that although kiwis are on “temporary” visas they are permanent residents for all intents and purposes.

    wikiriwhis business – passports were introduced because of people like Mr Asia. It’s got nothing to do with a surveillance grid.

    Red – I actually agree with you. Nice change.

    Camryn – I’d like to see some movement too, but I am making alternative arrangements (read post) since I assume they won’t.

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  16. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Next Tom Jackson will propose that citizens departing to live overseas should only be allowed to take $10,000 of assets with them…

    I must say that I am in agreement with straya on the point re citizenship. I think his reference is actually to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, not the Constitution itself, but the point remains valid. The Constitution of Australia was only ever enacted and proclaimed for the current States. Looking at the sections that Gary cites, I think that there is little argument that New Zealand could be considered to be within the Constitution for the purposes that he argued.

    And I know it is only an argument.

    But I do think that it is very wrong that people who live and work in Australia and pay taxes in Australia should not be allowed to participate in elections. I remember some sort of catch-cry once being “No taxation without representation”!

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  17. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    I would like to see list MPs based in Gold Coast (where 50% of the population originate from New Zealand)

    Given the current state of the Gold Coast, the people living there are the last people that I would want to encourage political participation from. 

    They are so bogan that they make Westies look cultured!

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  18. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    I have no problem not being able to vote – I knew that when I moved here, however I was a bit misinformed that I would be able to become a citizen after a certain amount of time.
    I’m more annoyed that I am required to pay for services I will not be able to use. Regardless of what I think about the merits of the NDIS, if the government wants to charge unprotected 444 holders a levy for it then they should let those people access the payments if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

    As for the right to vote, the Constitution is the overarching piece of law in Australia, and every piece of legislation that the Commonwealth (ie federal) government passes must comply with the constitution. If the Australia Act or the Australia Constitution Act say something that is contrary to what is in the Constitution, then the Constitution will take precedence. I’d love to see the media coverage of such a trial, it would be great entertainment, especially when reporters interview people on the streets.

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  19. kowtow (7,653 comments) says:

    Gary Lindsay

    Interesting post. Well done.

    I always thought it a pity that H Clark did not advocate more strongly back in 2001 for NZers.No surprises though it was Labour that pulled us further away from our most natural and nearest friend with the anti American Anzus scandal. Same with the immigration issue as mentioned above,back door to Oz.

    Is it any wonder certain sections of Ozzie policy makers are less than happy to keep carrying New Zealand (defence)and New Zealanders (employment) .They are making a diplomatic point.

    We need closer ties not strained ones.

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  20. BeaB (2,060 comments) says:

    Am I missing something? Why don’t they apply for Australian citizenship if they want to live there?

    A member of our family moved there five years ago, is aged over 60 and is working in a job that has no special status. She had no trouble getting citizenship this year – it was cheap, quick and involved little more than providing the right documents. She can keep her NZ citizenship too.

    In fact all my siblings live there and all have become citizens over the years.

    If you want all the benefits of being a citizen, perhaps that is the first essential step!

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  21. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    Re the GC – the problem is that more than half of the city doesn’t get a vote. We get shithouse local councils, and we crap electoral candidates in both state and federal seats. They don’t have to listen to the majority of people in the city since they don’t get a vote, so they are able to pander to the very “bogans” you’re referring to!

    As a result we have dickhead bikies running Surfer’s Paradise (so nobody goes there) and a monopoly in the casino market that can’t be broken because of special interest groups.

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  22. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    BeaB:

    Am I missing something? Why don’t they apply for Australian citizenship if they want to live there?

    Because we can’t. The unprotected 444 visa is a temporary visa not a permanent one, and you need to be on a permanent visa to apply for citizenship. That is all that I am asking for – a pathway to citizenship.

    Your family member must have been living in Australia prior to 2001.

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  23. BeaB (2,060 comments) says:

    I think you missed my saying she moved there permanently five years ago and had only ever been for short holidays before that.

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  24. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    the Constitution is the overarching piece of law in Australia, and every piece of legislation that the Commonwealth (ie federal) government passes must comply with the constitution. If the Australia Act or the Australia Constitution Act say something that is contrary to what is in the Constitution, then the Constitution will take precedence.

    You need to do some reading on statutory interpretation, gazza.  You are correct that the Constitution is supreme law in Australia.   But the Constitution of Australia Act is a part of the Constitution. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that the Constitution is a part (s9) of the Constitution of Australia Act!

    But, to address the point, However, the only mention of NZ in the Constitution is in s6 of the Constitution of Australia Act, which is the Definition section.  That says

    The States shall mean such of the colonies of New South Wales,New Zealand,Queensland,Tasmania,Victoria,Western Australia, and South Australia, including the northern territory of South Australia, as for the time being are parts of the Commonwealth,

     There is no mention of NZ what you might call the Constitution proper.  The sections that Gary refers to make no reference to anything but “each State”.  How, then, do we find out which entities are States for the purpose of the Constitution?  Well, s8 of the Constitution of Australia Act would appear to be the key on that one, although the Preamble also has a list that doesn’t include NZ.  Also look at s26 for a listing of States that can send representatives to the Commonwealth Parliament; no mention of NZ there, either.

    Of course, I could be wrong on that (although not on the principles of statutory interpretation so much), so any Australian Constitutional scholars who want to help out are more than welcome!

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  25. duggledog (1,362 comments) says:

    ‘In 2001 the Howard government was under pressure to act on a public perception that deadshits from New Zealand were crossing the Tasman to live on the dole and smoke pot’

    As always the actions of the few have had ramifications on the liberties of the many. Think dog and car registration; the majority that do subsidize the few that can’t be fucked.

    Thousands upon thousands of kiwis crossed the ditch in the 80s and 90s either to escape illegitimate children, the law, or just to smoke it up at the beach catch some waves or join a band in Sydney and try to make the big time. Heaps of people did that. As you would.

    A whole swathe of Australians have a bit of an issue about kiwis, especially the tangata whenua, I’ve seen and heard it first hand many many times, enough to know it’s there. Don’t discount our reluctance to spend a larger portion of our GDP on the military and that rugby thing too. They laughed their asses off when Hulun got left on the tarmac that time

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  26. Odakyu-sen (442 comments) says:

    “I’d support cancelling NZ citizenship after 5 years spent abroad.”

    Do you mean cancel the citizenship of NZ-born NZ citizens? Even those identifying themselves as “Maori”?

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  27. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    I think you missed my saying she moved there permanently five years ago and had only ever been for short holidays before that.

    I think you are missing something. The pathway is permanent residency THEN citizenship. That been confirmed from multiple different sources.

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  28. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    I’d support cancelling NZ citizenship after 5 years spent abroad.

    That’s just spite from one of the “left behind”.

    1) Any justification you present for cancelling citizenship after 5 years absence would logically require automatic citizenship for 5-years presence.

    2) Any country that abandons their citizens like that isn’t worth returning to.

    3) You would have NZ abandon someone who has lived in Australia for 5 years, leaving them without citizenship anywhere. Enforced refugee status for anyone who DARES leave your precious economic backwater.

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  29. Paulus (2,503 comments) says:

    Part of New Zealand’s Problem is that with a Criminal Conviction you almost certainly cannot get into Australia on whatever visa, so that still leaves the dregs here.

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  30. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    duggledog – I laughed when Hulun got left on the tarmac.

    Paulus – that is a problem how? It reinforces the fact it’s not the deadshits that want Aussie citizenship.

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  31. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    Paulus
    Clean slate rules don’t take care of it? 7 (?) years?

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  32. unaha-closp (1,117 comments) says:

    Straya you are correct, but probably don’t realise the consequences of being right. Kiwi’s can “go home” or more likely go away anytime.

    The lack of a path to citizenship in Australia means Aussie companies need to be paying 50%-75% more than NZ companies for the same worker doing the same work, because that is how much you need to pay us to make us Kiwis deal with this crap.

    During a boom in metal prices like there was up until recently, then no worries – everybody is happy. However now there is a bust in metal prices and since mining in Australia structurally requires labour costs that are near the highest on the planet – the Aussie mines are going to go belly up. There is your consequence straya, impending mass unemployment.

    Now that is a pretty shit consequence, but remember it was your choice.

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  33. Manolo (13,396 comments) says:

    I’d support cancelling NZ citizenship after 5 years spent abroad.

    You’re nothing but an imbecilic petty tyrant.

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  34. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    And this is of concern to NZers living in NZ paying tax here because ….?

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  35. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    Because
    a) They are your family and friends
    b) It is partly the New Zealand government’s fault that 444 visa holders are stuck in an immigration dead end
    c) Those people can vote in NZ
    d) Even if they couldn’t, the New Zealand government has an obligation to look after its citizens
    e) Many of those people still do pay tax in New Zealand, and pretty much all of them have relatives who do

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  36. SHG (365 comments) says:

    Beab said

    A member of our family moved there five years ago, is aged over 60 and is working in a job that has no special status. She had no trouble getting citizenship this year – it was cheap, quick and involved little more than providing the right documents.

    I don’t see how that’s possible. Assuming she’s a NZ citizen who arrived on a 444 visa, 60 years old with no special job would be an instant rejection.

    Are there any other special factors? Where did she move to? Did she have any family in Australia who were already permanent residents?

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  37. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    a) They are your family and friends

    So what. They don’t live here. If they have a beef with the country in which they have chosen to live, then take it up with that government, but not at my expense thank you. I subsidise enough things I shouldn’t as it is.

    b) It is partly the New Zealand government’s fault that 444 visa holders are stuck in an immigration dead end

    I’m sorry, where was the bit about them being exiled against their will?

    c) Those people can vote in NZ

    Good point. We should put a stop to that if they have decided to make their lives elsewhere.

    d) Even if they couldn’t, the New Zealand government has an obligation to look after its citizens

    You are saying that I have an obligation to pay people to look after NZers who have decided to live elsewhere. I say no – these are not holidaymakers or citizens travelling abroad on business.

    e) Many of those people still do pay tax in New Zealand, and pretty much all of them have relatives who do

    How many, how much, and anyway, how do you make a distinction between such people on that basis relative to overseas non-citizens who also pay NZ tax on income earned from NZ. What on earth has the fact of them having relatives got to do with this issue? If you want to subsidise the cost of supporting your overseas relatives, by all means be my guest. But I don’t want to subsidise your relatives so please keep your hands out of my pockets. Are you a socialist?.

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  38. BeaB (2,060 comments) says:

    SHG
    Late in 2007 she moved to Melbourne, got a well-paid local government job (at the age of 58) for which she had no specific qualifications or experience, had no family ties or history at all in Victoria and had no problems getting citizenship.
    She was surprised as she expected to have to jump through a lot of hoops at her age but put in all the documents and next thing got a phone call to say she had been accepted and should attend a citizenship ceremony in the next few months which she did and now has an Aussie passport.

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  39. SHG (365 comments) says:

    BeaB – jesus. I think someone fucked up and your rellie won the lottery. Based on my understanding of the law (and I’m a Kiwi living in Australia so I’m pretty damn familiar with it) there’s NO WAY she was eligible for citizenship.

    If she arrived in Australia in 2007 having never lived in Australia before she could not (in theory) have received citizenship without having served her time as a permanent resident first, and the permanent residency requirements clearly exclude a 58-year-old NZer in a nonessential occupation in Melbourne.

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  40. unaha-closp (1,117 comments) says:

    Because

    f) Increase our access to the Australian labour market.
    g) Shift the burden of deadbeat dropkicks living in Surfers permanently on to the Australian welfare system.

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  41. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    g) Shift the burden of deadbeat dropkicks living in Surfers permanently on to the Australian welfare system.

    Well, you’ve got me there. Where do I sign?

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  42. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    a) They are your family and friends

    So what. They don’t live here. If they have a beef with the country in which they have chosen to live, then take it up with that government, but not at my expense thank you. I subsidise enough things I shouldn’t as it is.

    We are not asking for your money. We are asking for the New Zealand government to liase with the Australian Commonwealth for a law change that will benefit 300,00 New Zealand citizens.

    b) It is partly the New Zealand government’s fault that 444 visa holders are stuck in an immigration dead end

    I’m sorry, where was the bit about them being exiled against their will?

    There was no bit about being exiled against their will. The New Zealand government does have a part to play in this issue. It was the New Zealand government who did not cooperate with the Australian one that helped to create this mess.

    c) Those people can vote in NZ

    Good point. We should put a stop to that if they have decided to make their lives elsewhere.

    Whatever.

    d) Even if they couldn’t, the New Zealand government has an obligation to look after its citizens

    You are saying that I have an obligation to pay people to look after NZers who have decided to live elsewhere. I say no – these are not holidaymakers or citizens travelling abroad on business.

    Again, we’re not asking for money. We can support ourselves.

    e) Many of those people still do pay tax in New Zealand, and pretty much all of them have relatives who do

    How many, how much, and anyway, how do you make a distinction between such people on that basis relative to overseas non-citizens who also pay NZ tax on income earned from NZ. What on earth has the fact of them having relatives got to do with this issue? If you want to subsidise the cost of supporting your overseas relatives, by all means be my guest. But I don’t want to subsidise your relatives so please keep your hands out of my pockets. Are you a socialist?.

    I can’t answer how many and how much since I don’t know. If you want to find out why don’t you ask the IRD, I am sure they will answer you.
    There are many overseas non citizens who live in NZ permanently. They are eligible for the dole after two years and to apply to become a citizen after either 3 or 5 years. They also don’t have a new disability insurance scheme to pay for that they will not be able to access under the current rules.

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  43. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    the davincimode @3.44.
    So your happy that these people NZers living, working and paying tax in Oz just jump on a plane and come “home” to get a pension at 65 because the Oz govt wont give them one?
    Fuck that. Oz is happy to take the tax they can pay some benefits in exchange.

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  44. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    Colville

    No I’m not happy. They should have their pensions adjusted if they come back after being away for any significant length of time.

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  45. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    They should be able to become Australian citizens so they can get an Australian pension.

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  46. PaulL (5,875 comments) says:

    @thedavincimode: I probably know the answer – but you’d of course also adjust the pensions of people who stayed in NZ but did absolutely nothing productive other than being a drain on the system during that time?

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  47. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    PaulL

    I think we’re on a roll here … :)

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  48. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,812 comments) says:

    New Zealand should just join the Australian Federation.

    Dependent Territory anyone?

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  49. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    OECD

    Should I infer that you would like to be deciding between Rudd and Abbot as PM?

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  50. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,812 comments) says:

    Compulsory voting is silly. That said I vote in every election I can so no material difference to me.

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  51. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    I’d rather have had 12 years of John Howard than 9 years of Helen Clark.

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  52. Harriet (4,532 comments) says:

    One issue that Rudd hasn’t said which effects not only ALL kiwis in Australia but all immigrants, and that is:

    You cannot play ‘catch-up’ with superannuation.

    Everyone is only allowed to put $25k into aussie super each year, but if you didn’t come into australia till say 2010 – you have then got 20yrs less of super than have ‘natural australians’[super was introduced in 1990-91]. I want to increase mine, but they won’t allow me to back date it.

    This not only effects immigrants but it also effects some australians, such as ALL women who have left the workforce for a year or more to have kids, and it also effects ALL those who could not put the maximum $25k into super due to low wage jobs. Those people who are now earning more than low wage, or in the case of mothers, who have returned to work, are worse off for it.

    Rudd is an independent – if he ran with a super back-dating policy – he’d shit in.

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  53. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    You can put as much into super as you like, but you have to pay the top marginal tax rate on the portion above $25k (I think it is $50k if you’re over 50), instead of the concessional 15c rate.
    There is nothing stopping you from investing in something else.

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  54. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,812 comments) says:

    Same gazzmaniac. John Howard was tops.

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  55. Warren Murray (280 comments) says:

    Gazz has highlighted some glitches in the Australian system. It suggests that Howard’s policy has a few rough edges.

    It is worth contemplating why Howard did it and whether Clark’s immigration’s policies at the time acted against the interests of NZers in Oz.

    I dont agree that non citizens should be eligible to vote somewhere because theyve lived in a place for x years. However I also think it inequitable to tax people to fund benefits that they are expressly in eligible for. I cant see the government allowing for opt out provisions of the tax code, it would fuel Australian xenophopia when they witness preferential employment of NZers.

    At last NZ election, the Greens thought it worthwhile to chase votes in Oz, it would be interesting to know how many ex pat residents bothered to vote.

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  56. Harriet (4,532 comments) says:

    You can put as much into super as you like, but you have to pay the top marginal tax rate on the portion above $25k (I think it is $50k if you’re over 50), instead of the concessional 15c rate.
    There is nothing stopping you from investing in something else.

    Thanks Gazz but I already new that. It’s the fact that I can’t get the 15c rate for deposits that fucks me off. And for most others who don’t self manage it’s not like they’re getting 12% returns on their money.

    I also understand that any money above the $25k is not included in the consessional part of my super when I am retired. I’m getting fucked at both ends if that’s true. Cheers.

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  57. Longknives (4,471 comments) says:

    I don’t blame Australia for not wanting us.
    New Zealanders are a fucking crime wave in Aussie…

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  58. Chinarugby (84 comments) says:

    You want to live overseas – you accept their rules. Franky you mean nothing to NZ – so bugger off and whine somewhere else.

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  59. kulvey (1 comment) says:

    You move to Australia subject to our rules. We shouldn’t have to drop citizenship standards for one particular nationality (Kiwis). All foreign workers pay tax here so if you feel that kiwis are somehow special then your wrong. Simply put if you don’t like the rules of our country then move somewhere else. I’m sure if you went to the United States they would just give you citizenship just because your a kiwi… Not!
    The Gold Coast has been turned not a slum due toa ll the kiwis there.

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  60. brando (1 comment) says:

    New Zealanders are subject to the same rules as any other migrant in terms of receiving PR and subsequent citizenship. The difference is kiwis can live in Australia and work automatically. But is a complete falsehood to say they are unable to apply for citizenship! They are just subject to the same rules as every other nation. This is the issue here. not fair play but kiwis wanting favouritism! That would be unfair on the rest of the world. Kiwis have a very good deal that no other nation gets…it does not go hand in hand that they should also not be subject to the same criteria as an Englishman. Irishman or Indian in terms of Citizenship. THAT would be unfair. All these recent Kiwi rants and anti-Australian webpages will only succeed in having the SCV repealed altogether.

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  61. magnusfisher (1 comment) says:

    I don’t blame Australia for not wanting us.
    New Zealanders are a fucking crime wave in Aussie

    ive been here 9 years and havnt seen this sort of shit your dribbling about

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  62. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    You want to live overseas – you accept their rules. Franky you mean nothing to NZ – so bugger off and whine somewhere else.

    You mean nothing to NZ, and you’re still living here.

    Its pathetic how much spite there is in this thread for KIWIS living overseas. Get the fuck over yourselves.

    It is pathetic how much you losers have emotionally invested in your nationalism. “Anyone who leaves is a traitor who doesnt deserve the right to return! Anyone who leaves is insulting this nation and everyone who still lives here! I interpret the fact that some people live overseas for extended periods to mean that my country is not as good as I fantasize about it being, and I have nothing else in my life other than the fact that I reside in this country on which to base my estimation of my own self worth!”

    Seriously, get the fuck over yourselves. Its pathetic.

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