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Strengthening economic relations between Australia and New Zealand

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The comments below were received on the draft recommendations from the Productivity Commissions.

Comments have now closed.

Michelle | Thu, 22/11/2012 - 12:57pm

I also would advise people in NZ with children thinking about coming to Australia to stay away. I will have to send my daughter back to NZ to attend University due to the fees having to be paid up front,(who has $50k to just pay up front) and there is no guarantee that she will be able to even obtain PR in years to come if she comes back. Big mistake moving to Australia.

Anonymous | Fri, 09/11/2012 - 5:04pm

In reply to anonymous's comment, 9/11/12. I can not become an Australian citizen through descent because my mother was not an Australian citizen when I was born and has not lived in Australia for two years. Another dead end in trying to gain citizenship. Trust me I have looked into everything.

Anonymous | Fri, 09/11/2012 - 1:10pm

I too,am a NZ citizen,my defacto partner of almost 2 years is an Aus citizen.

I was born and raised in NZ,moved to Aus when I was 12.

My partner was born in Aus.

For the majority of time that I lived in Aus,I was in and out of homelessness and in great need of assistance.

I lived in many foster homes,refuges etc and was under child protection services...

But I never received any form of benefit.

In fact I couldn't even get a healthcare card because child protection services took my original passport. I received food vouchers a few times and I received housing once.

I never got to finish high school or further my education because of all of this and because I couldn't receive assistance to complete my education.

When I fell pregnant,lost my job and still was not entitled to any form of benefit and rules had changed in regards to housing so I couldn't get that either,, we decided to move to NZ.

Our child has been born now and I am not receiving any help from the government here either,because my partner is Australia and hasn't lived here for 2 years and his old work in Aus refuse to prove he was only a casual.

Also because I can't prove I lived here for more than 2 years because child services took my passport! And because I can't get benefits I can't get housing!

This will be 2 countries.includong the one I COME FROM in which I wil have to live in a homeless refuge!!!!

So why is it that there are so many people that are just lazy,dodgy and bad that are getting these payments,while people like me and my family that ACTUALLY need help until we can help ourselves,go without?

YES - we should be able to live with one another in each others countries but WHY are our people suffering?

Why carry on about trans-Tasman agreements and all that rubbish when truly there are too many rules,codes,special categories etc?

I absolutely despise the government and passionately hate the system.

Cassius F | Mon, 29/10/2012 - 8:59pm

I moved in 2008 and have two daughters and one of my daughter wanted to go to Uni next year, my biggest worry is how am I going to pay her Uni Fee? If I can't pay then her education will be terminated. And the future of my children?????

I educated and trained in NZ and now my skilled is used by Australia. But worried about our future Kiwi generation who live in Australia????

Ms Gillard's speech on 16/02/2011 "Australia has many alliances and friendships around the world, economic and defence partnerships of every kind; but New Zealand alone is family" Then why do you differentiate this Hard working Kiwi families in Australia???

Most of the Kiwi children missed out Higher Education due to financial hardship.

Equal Rights " ANZAC "

Anonymous | Fri, 26/10/2012 - 12:27pm

We moved here permanently 5 years ago. We always planned to become permanent residents and then Australian citizens. My Grandmother is an Australian citizen and my Mother is an Australian citizen through descent. I have ties to this country on both sides of my family, my youngest was born here. As my husbands job is not on the skills shortage list (it never will be as Australian companies recruit New Zealand workers), I decided to go back to university and retrain in an area of skills shortage. I have just discovered I will not have enough points to pass the points test by the time I finish my degree because I will be over 39 years old. This is so frustrating and upsetting. Australia is my permanent home yet I feel I am second class. Paying for a degree is a major financial hardship for my family and I have no idea how I will pay for my eldest's university fees as well as my own on one income as we cannot access student loans. We could move back to New Zealand but then my youngest misses out on becoming an Australian citizen, what should have been his birth right as we live legally and permanently in Australia, on his tenth birthday. My children barely remember New Zealand, they consider themselves Australian. How can one live in a country, permanently and legally and never have a pathway to citizenship?

Australia exploits and discriminates against New Zealanders. Seems very unfair considering Australians are treated so well in New Zealand.

I also advise New Zealanders to stay away, especially if they have children.

Anonymous | Fri, 09/11/2012 - 1:33pm

I know a girl in NZ who plans to move to Australia. I warned her of the SCV 444 issue. Turns out her mother is an Australian citizen by descent and moved to NZ prior to this girl's birth. This girl now has Australian citizenship and an Australian passport. She was born in NZ and has never been to Australia. Why can't you do the same?

Anonymous | Mon, 22/10/2012 - 3:09pm

I have been reading through your submissions but cannot find much input from a very important group that needs respect - The Indigenous People of Australia - Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. I feel there is a lot of emphasis being placed on the wants and needs of NZ Indigenous People - Maori who are wanting their special help and assistance from the Australian Government even though they have no status in Australia as Indigenous people in Australia but are also wanting to take Aboriginal land to build Maraes. I support the protection of Indigenous Australians culture and would like to see their issues fixed prior to going out of our to give entitlements to a group of people who willingly choose to move to Australia. We don't have a treaty with Maori in Australia, their treaty is not valid here ~ why don't they lobby their country, their Government for the help they are saying they are not getting?

This study seems to be a bit unbalanced, and many have shown little to no respect in their submissions to the Australian Indigenous People, only a few have recognised the Indigenous People of Australia in their submissions. That is sad.

I support visa entry for NZ ers wanting to come and live in Australia and visa entry for Australians living and working in NZ. I think it is NZ that needs to change their laws to make things equitable, rather than the other way around.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to present my opinion.

Anonymous | Thu, 20/09/2012 - 1:36pm

I think we really need to be careful, both NZ and Austria. As to the social security and immigration laws regarding NZ Citizens in Australia, I would think it would be of more benefit to the both countries to tighten the regulations and entry. NZ are losing their skilled and unskilled workforce to Australia because of better conditions in Australia all round, how can NZ go on seeing increased exodus of its working, skilled and unskilled leave NZ and not contribute through their tax system go on for? I would like to see NZ Citizens immigrating to Australia on the same basis as other immigrants, needing to be skilled or relationship/family and then qualify for the Social Security payments exactly the same as others. Many NZ Citizens are not wanting to become Australian Permanent Residents or Citizens at all apart to get the Social Security payment, they are not assimilating into Australian society, wanting Maori playgroups, Maraes built etc., they are segregating themselves into NZ only communities and have their own sports comps here in Australia - Australians cannot do that in NZ. There are many forums on FB and others of NZ'ers living in Australia that are used primarily for Aussie bashing threads.

I think NZ ers are and should be ultimately responsible for the choices they are making in immigrating to Australia, just like anyone else, and not think they can move over to Australia and thinking they can then change our laws - how absurd. The laws have been in place over 11yrs now. If I chose to immigrate to another country and I don't cover my bases with their immigration laws, who is at fault?

I think better awareness campaigns are needed in both countries so all who move here know our laws and their entitlements.

I say the above with having lived in NZ for sometime and the anti-Australian feeling over there is alive and well and unfortunately some move here with that view.

I worry about some of the effects of being tied up more, economically and socially, with a country like NZ, our economy is better in Australia (how is that going to be protected?), our Indigenous people of Australia, their needs and culture need protecting, our immigration allowance of non-regulated unskilled people into the country needs to be addressed and the country that is responsible for the largest amount of unskilled immigration to Australia is NZ.

I would and do support an increase in our numbers for aslyum seekers. There are many both skilled and unskilled good workers that come from asylum seekers too and contribute healthily to the make up of Australia.

Good luck - let's look at helping to keep these two great individual and beautiful countries - Australia AUSTRALIA and NZ NEW ZEALAND :)

Hoosein Ismail | Thu, 20/09/2012 - 11:44am

We moved from NZ to Australia in 2008. Holding a SCV only allows kiwis to live and work here. If you are unemployed or have a family member with a disability you are not entitled to any aid from the Aus govt. We have a child with Asperger's and in 2011 we took the WA Disability Services commission to the Equal Opportunities commission for refusing my son any aid. After a long battle they finally decided to change the rules here in WA to not deny kiwis services from the DCS. The state and federal governments rules differ in the federal government rules openly discriminate against kiwis. Australians on the other hand moving to NZ are given permanent residence on arrival. How unfair is this.

Kiwis here in Australia are hard workers and contributing to the economy of Australia. Why not treat kiwis the same way Kiwis treat Aussies moving to NZ.

Anthea Wakefield | Thu, 20/09/2012 - 1:37am

Another law came in this year regarding tax.

We now have to pay tax on any income in NZ be it interest on money or rent if you rent your house out.

So they have now got the right to double dip on our income.

James Cameron | Thu, 20/09/2012 - 12:54am

The TTTA is not balanced and the worse things is that the Australian government pretend that NZ agreed to this they did not see .

I am a NZ citizen by descent and under the current rules (Applied unilaterally bu Australia) my child will have neither Australian of New Zealand Citizenship. I can not sponsor my partner for PR either (she is not a NZ or Australian citizen)

Australia has investigated the issues kiwis face when moving to Australia and decided to do nothing see this FOI request

With one Australian minister quoted as saying that they are concerned about an underclass of NZ citizens in Australia.

When is Australia going to do something about this issue ?

Jim Cameron

Steve | Fri, 03/08/2012 - 12:43pm

The Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (New Zealand Citizens) Act introduced by the Howard Government in 2001 means New Zealanders who want to access certain Social Security payments or obtain Australian Citizenship first need to apply for Permanent Residency. Otherwise New Zealanders are permitted to live indefinitely in Australia on a temporary visa. After a period of time New Zealanders come to consider Australia their home; young New Zealanders brought to Australia by their parents may know no other, yet this legislation means they may never be able to obtain permanent residency or Australian Citizenship.

In a speech in Sydney in February 2011 Immigration Minister Chris Bowen praised the success of Multiculturalism in Australia as a result of a having "Citizenship centered multiculturalism". Drawing comparisons with Germany where Multiculturalism has not been so successful Mr Bowen suggested that Germany regarded immigration as an economic necessity. A requirement for "guest workers" has driven an economic immigration policy. He suggested that Multiculturalism was not succeeding in Germany because "guest worker populations have not properly integrated into German society..." Yet current policy means New Zealanders in Australia are not treated vastly differently from the "Guest worker" populations in Germany. Australian companies are actively recruiting workers in New Zealand. Workers who can move here with their families, pay tax and contribute to society in many ways yet may never be able to truly call Australia home regardless of how long they live in Australia.

Especially unfair when considering Australians become eligible for Citizenship after 2 years in NZ!

Jude Burke | Thu, 26/07/2012 - 12:32pm

In my line of work I see Kiwi's come in looking for urgent help, they have no work, and no support.I struggle with this when children are involved it is hard not to cry. We are workers and Australia benefits in so many ways, when we have work we work,we want to contribute.Fair dimkum mate play fair.

My dad - Hubert Burke came out from Liverpool in England in the 1950's and said that his people, a huge amount of Pom's came out to NZ and OZ.He said back at the early formation of government policy in the early 1900's an agreement was made between both countries to basically be treated as one. How did the Howard Government change this policy, it was not there's to change. Check out my name Mr Howard. I am a descendant of large Irish families that established this country as is the case of most Kiwi's.

My forefathers died along side their first cousins in Oz to protect the British position, in return the two countries would have a bilateral agreement. I think this should be challenged at the highest level. Since when did we became lower than low to be treated so inhumanely. Why now are we second class. We weren't when we were dying for the protection of the British empire.

Anonymous | Fri, 20/07/2012 - 12:39pm

I think it is good that there is the freedom of movement between the two countries, but I think the arrangement at the moment is not balanced. Australians in NZ are treated on par with NZ residents and citizens and have access to all social benefits - education, social security, healthcare etc. However, NZers living in Australia are treated as second-class temporary workers and have very limited access to social security. There is also limited access to tertiary education funding, healthcare and various state/federal services.

This seems very unfair. It disadvantages New Zealanders in Australia on an individual level; and also places an unfair burden on NZ to "pick up the mess" if any New Zealander ends up in trouble in Australia - whether that be unemployment, disability or poor health; then they would eventually end up relying on New Zealand for support. This would be despite paying taxes and working in Australia (and subsequently not contributing to the tax base in NZ). Similarly, children of New Zealanders in Australia are disadvantaged as they have no access to tertiary funding and support in Australia. This in turn limits the flexibility of NZers with children moving to Australia.

David Faulkner | Fri, 20/07/2012 - 10:50am

The following is an excerpt from "Unlucky in a lucky country: A commentary on policies and practices that restrict access to higher education in Australia" by Dr. Judith Kearney of Griffith University:

While social inclusion has particular currency with the Australian government, a national policy that serves to exclude capable and motivated students from higher education pathways is clearly incongruous. Yet this situation is now in place, serving to entrench exclusion and disadvantage among Pacific Island communities who have used New Zealand as a migration pathway to Australia. School and community members increasingly report that young people of Pacific Island heritage - like Puleitu - who would otherwise transition to higher education do not because their residency status precludes their eligibility for essential HECS-HELP.

This is a lose-lose situation. The consequences are not just the social exclusion of a disadvantaged community, with costs of isolation and social disengagement for community members. Australia at large deprives itself of the benefits that productive engagement through social inclusion of the Pacific Island communities could deliver. Instead of a mutually rewarding outcome, both sides suffer the consequences of this exclusion and alienation, which destabilise and disrupt the shared life of the nation. Entrenching social exclusion of these disadvantaged young people diminishes us all.

David Faulkner | Fri, 20/07/2012 - 10:19am

Downsides of being a New Zealander residing in Australia under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangements (TTTA):

The longer I live in Australia, and the more I contribute, the fewer rights I have. I was stripped of official permanent resident status in 1994, and subsequently stripped of my right to social security in 2001 - despite being a resident and tax payer for 30 years. I was also stripped of my access to Australian citizenship in order to effect this nationality discrimination.

Since 2001, I have been the victim of numerous incidences of nationality discrimination by state public authorities and companies, such as being denied employment and insurance. Kiwis have also lost our rights to equal access to higher education, disability services, social housing, and medical aids, to name but a few. For instance, only this month Housing NSW withdrew social housing access from Kiwis such as me.

Australia has turned the TTTA from a relationship of social integration into one of economic exploitation.

Australians in New Zealand are protected by the Human Rights Act, but Australia offers no equivalent protections to New Zealanders here. Nationality discrimination is not prohibited under Australian federal law.

I advise New Zealanders to stay away. In particular, do not bring children to Australia.