Kiwis hoping to become Aussies don't appear to know their
neighbour well, with New Zealanders among the worst
performers in the Australian citizenship test.
Applicants from other countries average over 97 per cent in
the test but New Zealanders average only 72.6 per cent,
according to information released to Adelaide's The
Advertiser under the Freedom of Information Act.
Test questions on the Department of Immigration and
Citizenship's website include "what do we remember on Anzac
Day?", "what is the role of the Governor-General?", "what
happened in Australia on January 1, 1901?", and "what are the
colours of the Australia Aboriginal flag?".
Applicants need to answer 15 of 20 questions correctly to
According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's
figures, Swedish applicants recorded the highest scores in
2011-12, with an average of 98.1 per cent, followed by the
Netherlands with 97.6 per cent, Finland with 97.5 per cent,
and France and Switzerland with 97.4 per cent.
Despite New Zealand's close ties with Australia, Kiwi
applicants' average scores were below those from Macedonia,
Ethiopia and Vietnam.
Adelaide University Associate Professor of History and
Politics Paul Sendziuk told The Advertiser New Zealanders may
just be too laid-back when taking the test.
"It is possible that they do not study enough because they
feel that they can rely on their background knowledge of
Australia, which is a fair enough assessment given the level
of cultural exchange that already exists between Australia
and these places.
"It is also possible that they take the test a bit lightly -
knowing that they are likely to achieve a pass mark even
without much study."
The citizenship test was brought in by the Howard government
Professor Sendziuk said many Australians would struggle to do
well in the test.
"The students in one of my classes took the citizenship test,
and very few achieved a score over 90. But I don't think this
makes them bad Australians," he said.
New Zealand does not have a similar citizenship test.
Residents can apply to become citizens after five years.