NZ expats should get a better deal: Shorten

Opposition leader bill Shorten is in Auckland for his first meeting with NZ Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern (Sky News)

09 December 2017

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has indicated New Zealanders living in Australia should get a better deal.

Meeting with Jacinda Ardern for the first time since she became labour leader, Mr Shorten has praised the New Zealand prime minster, saying she’s shown ‘regional and global leadership’.

‘Jacinda-mania has spread across the Tasman, my daughters want to get a selfie,’ Shorten said on Saturday.

Meeting for an ‘informal’ dinner to chew the fat, we’re told – Jacinda Ardern made her focus clear

‘The ongoing change in the rights of New Zealanders in Australia, particularly in around the attempted change in approach to students, but also citizenship issues,’ she said.

Bill Shorten has indicated he’d be open to improving conditions for NZ expats, referencing a government policy that would see New Zelander’s pay more to attend university in Australia.

‘Specifically, visa holders after 2001 got caught up in changes to the law,’ he said.

Labor has already opposed those changes, meaning the bill is stalled in the senate.

‘More recently there have been developments which unfairly penalise NZ permanent residents in Australia in terms of higher education,’ he said on Saturday.

‘Australia needs to make a decision, do we want to support NZ permanent residents in terms of their access to higher education in Australia or are we going to treat them as second class residents here

Ahead of his meeting with Jacinda Ardern, Bill Shorten praised the Prime Minister for her regional leadership, including her push to resettle 150 of Australia’s refugees.

Mr Shorten met with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, but he stopped short of calling on the government to accept New Zealand’s offer.

‘Ultimately it’s a matter for our government but I think we should pretty carefully at the leadership the NZ government is displaying on this matter.’

[Read the Sky News article].

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