Kiwi residents beg Australian government to have their rights given back

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched his election campaign today, but he's avoiding questions about the rights of New Zealanders who call Australia home.

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Laws were changed almost 20 years ago removing several rights previously enjoyed by Kiwis across the ditch. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealanders living in Australia are pleading for more rights under Australia's next government.

The laws were changed almost two decades ago, taking away permanent residency on arrival, access to benefits, health care and education.

The plea comes just a week ahead of Australia going to the polls.

South Australian and New Zealand born resident James Hill told 1 NEWS that "there are quite a lot of New Zealanders in the same boat.

"We kinda feel like we're in this country, but just ignored by everyone," he said.

Mr Hill moved to Adelaide when he was 11 years old, and is still not allowed to vote, access welfare, or get a student loan to go to university.

Australians can vote in New Zealand's elections after living here for one year, whereas Kiwis are not afforded that same right across the ditch.

Most New Zealanders in Australia are not able to access social housing and welfare benefits, and also don't meet the requirements to get student loans for tertiary education.

Basic health care is available for New Zealanders in Australia, but they miss out on the National Disabilities Insurance Scheme, even though they're required to pay levies.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten says he is open to the idea of being inclusive of all New Zealanders.