Brownlee: Kiwis in Oz should consider dual-citizenship if they want the benefits

Kiwis in Oz should consider dual-citizenship if they want the benefits, says Brownlee (Photo: Getty Images)

Newstalk ZB

A firm word from the Foreign Affairs Minister – if you’re moving to Australia and want all the bells and whistles you get back home, you should consider dual-citizenship.

Gerry Brownlee has met with members of the Oz Kiwi lobby group at Parliament this morning.

He said discussions were productive, and he’s reassured the group that he’s taking their concerns about entitlements, and changes to citizenship requirements, seriously.

But Mr Brownlee said Kiwis should understand Australia and New Zealand are different countries, and rights back home don’t necessarily translate across the ditch.

He said both countries allow freedom of movement, but each retains the right to determine requirements for permanent residency, citizenship, social security, and access to social support.

The Oz Kiwi group is pleased with the way the meeting with Mr Brownlee went this morning.

They’ve been concerned about the state of the citizenship pathway for Kiwis, and the surprise removal of entitlements in areas like schooling and tertiary education.

Oz Kiwi’s Tim Gassin was in the meeting and said Mr Brownlee was very reassuring, despite appearing very passive when he met with Julie Bishop at the beginning of last month.

“He has gone out of his way to engage with us in a way his predecessor didn’t, and we’re very appreciative of that.”

He said there are a large number of New Zealanders who contribute to Australian society, pay their taxes, volunteer in the community and will be there the rest of their lives – but currently have no pathway to citizenship.

[Read the Newstalk ZB article].

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