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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Not fair... now.

Looks like Phil has suddenly discovered the different rules for Australians and New Zealanders in each others countries are unfair.
Radio Australia:
A senior New Zealand opposition MP says he's going to raise in parliament the issue of New Zealanders in Australia not being allowed to become citizens.
Since 2001, Kiwis moving across the Tasman could still live and work in Australia, but have been unable to ever apply for citizenship, meaning they're given unequal treatment in many circumstances, regardless of how long they've lived in the country.

Goff starts caring now - 11 years after it happened! 11 years ago while he was the Foreign Minister! What did he think would happen? From 2001:
Helen Clark:
"The new arrangements preserve the right of New Zealanders to move to and live and work in Australia. New Zealanders presently living in Australia will see no change in their eligibility for social security.
"The revised Social Security Agreement will see New Zealand and Australia cost-sharing for superannuation and for payments for people with severe disabilities.
"From today New Zealanders will have to be granted permanent residency, as well as have lived in Australia for two years, before they can access social security payments other than for superannuation and severe disability, as provided for in the new agreement.
"In making this announcement John Howard and I are reaffirming the fundamental freedom of New Zealanders and Australians under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangements (TTTA) to freely travel, work, and live in each other's country.
"This free flow of people is a central factor in the Closer Economic Relations agreement which is a key plank in our close links with Australia and reflects the fact we have so much in common.
"The agreement being announced today, and the manner in which it has been forged, underscores our ability to work together on issues of common concern," Helen Clark said.

No probs according to Helen.

It was a cop-out to assauge the Aussies over the rampant back-door immigration from foreigners using NZ residency to live in Australia; but the consequences of stripping NZers of welfare and other protections was always a known. They down-played it at the time because the Aussies had made up their mind and the NZ side was too useless to negotiate anything better. Goff's decade-late public show of concern for something he was ultimately responsible for as Foreign Minister doesn't wash.

The NZ government should have reciprocated to keep policy parity with our neighbours and not to have done so at the time was typically weak. A typically weak MFAT fuck up.  The NZ government has allowed NZ citizens in Aussie to be maltreated in ways Australian citizens here have not - that is undignified, unacceptable and unequal. It won't be pleasant for the Aussies living here but the NZ authorities have to enforce the same set of rules the Australian government enforces on Kiwis.

And while we are on the topic of how great Phil was as Foreign Minister, what was the advice in 2002 about all the local Afghans working for the NZ forces being able to come to NZ as refugees? Don't tell us they didn't know that would happen. Was that cost of the war ever disclosed?


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