New Zealand Prime Minister ‘disappointed’ in citizenship changes (Photo: Bloomberg)
18 October 2017
New Zealand PM Bill English hits out at ‘disappointing’ Australian citizenship changes
24 April 2017
Fergus Hunter – The Age
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has criticised the Turnbull government’s newly unveiled citizenship changes, expressing concern that tens of thousands of New Zealanders would now have to wait years longer to become Australian citizens.
Mr English said that government officials were seeking to understand the impact of the changes on a streamlined pathway to citizenship unveiled last year for New Zealanders living in Australia.
The pathway arrangement announced in February 2016 and coming into effect in July 2017 allows New Zealanders holding special category visas to secure permanent residency after five years in Australia earning $53,900 annually. They would have been able to attain citizenship a year later.
Tim Gassin, chairman of expat lobby group Oz Kiwi, said the changes hurt Australia-based Kiwis who were contributing to the country.
“This is just Australia walking all over New Zealand again – you’d had John Key and then Bill English out there selling it as a great success, ‘Look at how our quiet diplomacy worked so well’, but this is what they get in return,” Mr Gassin told Fairfax Media.
[Read the full Age article].