John Key should stand up for rights of Kiwis in Australia
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
3 October 2013
John Key should stand up for Kiwi rights
John Key has an obligation to stand up for the rights of Kiwis no matter where they live and he should have been tougher with Tony Abbott last night, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
“Under this Government the rights of Kiwis working abroad have gone backwards.
“Why is it fair for New Zealanders to pay taxes in Australia, some for more than a decade, but not receive the benefits that those taxes pay for?
“Despite paying taxes, Kiwis are not eligible for most social security entitlements or student loans.
“The recently passed National Disability Insurance Scheme is an example. Kiwis living in Australia are levied half a percent of their income to pay for the scheme but are explicitly denied the right to receive anything from it.
“Aussies living in New Zealand permanently have all the same rights as other Kiwis after two years. But that is not reciprocated.
“John Key said he was prepared to “totally respect” the sovereign right of the Australian government to make that decision.
“Well, Mr Abbott may have the right to make that decision, but it doesn’t mean we need to respect it – or even accept it – when it disadvantages Kiwis.
“Kiwis living in Australia should have exactly the same rights as Australians living here, full stop.
“Mr Key was full of bombast before his flying visit to meet with Tony Abbott. He’s returned home with his tail between his legs.
“It comes hard on the heels of a similar visit to the UK where he failed to get David Cameron to agree to ease immigration restrictions.
“The rights of Kiwis living overseas appear to matter little to the Government.
“If Mr Key were to push these issues harder he would get bipartisan support from Labour.”