No change to rights for Australians living in New Zealand on the horizon


There will be no pay back any time soon over the changes to rights for New Zealanders living in Australia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee today told a Parliamentary select committee the Government has no plans to follow Australia's lead in making citizenship changes, which across the ditch, have reduced the entitlements New Zealanders receive.

Australia flag

"The actual numbers of Australians living in New Zealand is a very small part of our population and it's our view that taking actions like that would be unnecessarily pernicious given the length of the relationship that we've got and the fact that so many New Zealanders are reliant on the Australian economy for their jobs” said Mr Brownlee.

Statistics New Zealand figures show in the year ended May 2017, 9,510 people migrated from Australian to New Zealand permanently or on a long term basis, the highest figure in more than 10 years.

The Minister told the committee he'd been encouraged by his Australian counterpart's acknowledgment they need to have a greater focus on the impact of their domestic policies on New Zealand citizens living there.

"Scott Morrison the Australian Treasurer was quick to say that the provisions they're applying to foreigners who own property in Australia will not be any different for New Zealanders from Australian citizens. In other words the first primary place of residence won't be caught by their new capital gains tax."

Mr Brownlee said New Zealanders need to remember they can travel to and from work in Australia freely which is a unique situation internationally.

He confirmed the Government would continue the dialogue with Australia but there is unlikely to be any developments before the election.

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