Australia's morals questioned

Australia is within its legal rights to discriminate against New Zealanders working there, but its moral position is much shakier, Prof Mark Henaghan says.

A lobby group called ''Iwi in Oz'' recently held protests in several Australian cities urging that New Zealanders who had long been working there should have access to Australian citizenship and voting rights.

Another Australian-based lobby group, OzKiwi, has also campaigned for New Zealand residents in Australia to enjoy the same benefits as Australians living in this country.

Changes to Australian law in 2001 prevented most long-term New Zealand workers arriving after that date from receiving unemployment and sickness benefits. Most workers were also denied citizenship and voting rights in Australia.

By contrast, Australians living in New Zealand are allowed to vote after one year, to receive government services after two years and to become New Zealand citizens after five years, the lobby groups point out.

Prof Henaghan, who is dean of the University of Otago Law Faculty, said sovereign nations could make their own laws, and Australia was entitled to make laws that treated New Zealanders differently.

But from a moral perspective it seemed questionable in the long term New Zealanders had fewer rights to citizenship, voting and benefits in Australia than Australians had in this country, he said.

And New Zealand workers who arrived in Australia after February 2001 are required to contribute to the National Disability Insurance Scheme through taxes but are denied benefits under the otherwise universal scheme.

Prof Henaghan said those insurance scheme requirements seemed ''just very unfair''. Prof Henaghan said he opposed any merger with Australia, saying the two countries had somewhat different histories and world views.

- john.gibb@odt.co.nz

More to consider

Today in the media was an item about Flavel from the Moari Party going to Oz to drum up votes in the next NZ election....sounds daft but when you consider that a couple of years ago an Iwi elder speaking with deep concern about how so many of his cultural group lived in Oz. It went like this...one seventh of all who identified as Moari lived in Australia, with one eleventh plus of all Moari born today were born in Australia. (that's both sides of the ditch). I'm not make that up either. No wonder he's popping over to drum up support. 

I'm sure that he will get next to nothing in the Oz press for his efforts. No wonder the Australian people view us as a wishy washy twin nation / one country people fixated on rugby, but a good place to ski. 

Relative numbers

Shinhat using your own numbers and each country's population stats.

70000/4500000*100=1.55 % kiwis in Aussies

560000/23400000*100=2.4 Aussies in NZ

Hardly the unfair swamping of Australia by NZers and hardly the economic burden Australia portrays.

Allowing for variations in numbers as I said about 2%.

The 2% I quoted came from an interview of immigration immigration in which they were quoting official NZ and Australian statistics not wiki.  

Source of migrant statistics

My source for numbers of Australians in New Zealand and New Zealanders in Australia are from Wikipedia. Wikipedia says 560,000 New Zealanders in Australia (  here - on right hand side - I've seen other figures that say 1,000,000)  and 70,000 Australians in New Zealand (here - right hand side).  Not sure where other commenters go their numbers from.

Reciprocity

Australians have no conscience. It is time NZ practised reciprocity like the Russians do in matters of visas and charges. NZers need to toughen up. How John Key went grovelling to Abbott after the election is shameful to all NZers. So you do to us, so we do to you.

Proportions

Skinhat : While in raw number there are more Kiwi's in Aussie than the other way around, this is misleading as their ecomony and population are larger. The population of both countries from each other is 2% and under equal conditions the impact on each other is the same. While they are entitled to make their own rules the reasons they give are unjustified and contradict the spirit, if not the fine print, of the two foremost agreements between our two countries.

Sold out long ago

Recently both here & Australia figures were published regarding the numbers of Australians in NZ - approximately 520.000-odd, with the number of Kiwis in Oz 670,000-odd. So Skinhat, methinks those figures bear out the long held-belief (Australian Government) that the percentage of NZers in Oz per head of population was less than the percentage of Ozzie's in NZ. Do the sums....
This whole issue stems from the willingness of the NZ Government entering into dodgy treaties with countries to further trade and a loose immigration policy from the 1970s onwards. Remember when we didn't even have passports?
The vote by NZ (by only two votes) to not join the Federation of Australia was, as it's turned out, a mistake. The clock now cannot be turned back due to the NZ Labour Party embracing, apparently for selfish political purposes, a treaty signed prior to NZ getting it's Royal Charter whilst under NSW colonial rule. Not big on logic that outcome, as time has shown.
If you wish to and have the time delve into Australian constitutional law regarding NZ. There is still today a place kept for NZ to join the Federation. My understanding is based on good informal advice from within the Department of the Prime Minister in Canberra.
Another point: Wasn't it another NZ Labour Government that traded away any rights for NZers within Oz in 2001 while not modifying the law here to match the new playing field in Australia?

 

Social democratic government

Skinhat: Have a read of this. The differance is Aussie had  "socialist" goverment for 18 of the past 30 years but I guess they had the tax income and caught China's boom period (which seems to be on the wain) to acheive social goals.

 

 

 

Protest didn't register in Aussie

The "Iwi in Oz" protests barely registered on the Aussie news. Well gone are the days with a holiday on the GC with dole paid by the Aussie govt.

If people have in the past been too lazy to get their residency or citizenship that's their problem.  Yes, it costs some money, but if you choose to jump the ditch that is the cost. No different to anyone else who moves countries.

My other bugbear is Kiwis in Aussie who have no intention of ever coming back to NZ but they still vote in NZ elections.....

Make immigration more even

The problem is that immigration between Australia and New Zealand is too one-sided, with between 500,000 to 1,000,000 New Zealanders in Australia vs 80,000 Australians in New Zealand.
I think the problem has been that New Zealand politics has been too socialist, leading to more economic opportunities in Australia, which is why immigration is so one sided. If the numbers were more even then Australians wouldnt feel like they're being taken advantage of.

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Moore & Percy, Registered ValuersQueenstownProperty Valuers
Razors EdgeOamaruHairdressers
Millers Flat Holiday ParkMillers FlatHoliday Parks
Your People LtdDunedinEmployment Agencies