Pauline Hanson, the controversial founder of the One
Nation Party now making a new bid to re-enter the Senate, has
come out punching for expatriate New Zealanders.
She joins Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's brother
Greg, also running for the Senate from the opposite political
pole, in condemning policies that have been in place since
New Zealanders arriving since then pay full taxes but have
few rights, are denied access to most federal and state
services and programmes, and are classed as temporary
residents no matter how long they have lived and worked
across the Tasman. Successive governments have rejected calls
Some political analysts believe Pauline Hanson could have a
chance of winning a Senate seat in New South Wales because
more than a dozen small right-wing parties have listed her
high on their preference lists.
Yesterday, she condemned the expat Kiwi policy as
"unreasonable and discriminatory", saying many New Zealanders
were "stuck between a rock and a hard place".
"They are working, paying their taxes, and raising families,
but when hardship hits they cannot apply to receive help from
our social security system," she said.
"Many New Zealanders are then left homeless, destitute and
desperate ... We have opened our borders and our hearts to
people from all over the world offering them the opportunity
to become Australian citizens, but not to our closest
neighbours, our allies and our Anzac mates."
Pauline Hanson said citizenship and social security laws
should be amended to include all New Zealand citizens who
arrived in Australia as a child or who had continuously lived
in NZ for five years as a citizen.
Under this policy Kiwis would become eligible for social
security after the usual two-year waiting period and eligible
for citizenship after four years' residence in Australia, the
same conditions applying for all other permanent migrants.
"This would restore Russell Crowe's eligibility for
Australian citizenship," Pauline Hanson said. "If Russell
Crowe is good enough to be put on our Australian stamp as an
Australian legend, then why deny him the right to become an
Australian citizen if he so wishes?"
Australian politician from 1996 to 1998.
Former leader and founder of the One Nation Party.
Proved controversial and accused of being racist for her
criticism of multiculturalism and the idea that aboriginal
Australians received more benefits than other Australians.
Made the phrase "Please explain?" famous, following an
interview in which she was asked whether she was xenophobic.
- Greg Ansley in Australia