Australian immigration policies for New Zealand Citizens introduced in 2001 are a short term win for the Australian Government – it takes taxes from NZ citizens, yet denies them services, saving some money in the process.
However, in the long term, there will be substantial losses for Australia, including:
- having a large number of NZ-born people who were effectively denied tertiary education or training and thus are both disgruntled and earning less money (and thus paying less tax) than would otherwise be the case
- potentially having higher crime rates as those denied both training that could get them a job and unemployment benefits turn to a life of crime to make a living
- having increasing numbers of Australian-born children who were denied care for their disabilities until the age of ten and who may thus not have received adequate treatment, potentially making them a greater burden on the state in future years
- having increasing numbers of broken families in which at least some members are ineligible for any government assistance, thus meaning more children are likely to brought up in situations of poverty and confronted with any number of traumatic situations
The list could go on.
The reality is that the Australian Government will need to rectify the injustice of its current policies at some point – it is ridiculous that both some of the listed situations could be allowed to continue or that most Australians could accept a situation in which someone brought to the country as a one week old baby could still be denied any pathway to citizenship despite living here legally for 30, 40, 50, or more years and knowing no other home. The problem the Government faces is that the longer it puts off fixing its failed policies, the more damage it will have to clean up and the more it will cost to the budget.
written by Timothy Gassin