Lindsay Mitchell reports that New Zealand First wants to ban new residents from voting until they have lived in New Zealand for at least three to five years, and calls this stupid as people who by and large pay taxes and make other economic contributions wouldn’t be able to vote while people who don’t can?
I actually think there is considerable merit in restricting the right to vote to citizens, rather than permanent residents (of course grandfathering in all current permanent residents), as is the case in many other countries. The reason isn’t to punish immigrants, but to promote the uptake of citizenship.
I am going to go into this subject in far more detail in the future, but for now suffice to say citizenship is an opportunity to promote those common shared values that make us New Zealanders. As a country we have few legal differences between being a permanent resident and a citizen, hence little incentive for some to become citizens.