The way I see it… “Second class citizens?” 9



View Profile

I think it’s time to wade into this debate re Kiwis living in Aussie and, according to some critics, being treated as second class citizens. Well, let me tell you. I’m a proud Kiwi and I’m proud to be living in the country my Grandparents were born in – Australia. It’s a great place, but yes, I have to agree with some of the comments that have been bandied about in recent days that Kiwis are being treated like second class citizens.

Let’s take a look at a couple of things. As a person with a disability, I don’t receive any assistance from this government. Fact! I struggle and am not entitled to any benefit. I work and pay my taxes and here’s the irony. I’m classed as an Australian Citizen by the ATO. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a New Zealander. At least my passport tells me so?

Therefore, I’m just a tad confused? How can the ATO class me as an Australian Citizen ..for tax purposes? Hmmm?

Ok then, why can’t I be eligible for medical and other benefits. Oh, odd really, I have a Medicare card!

Right! now we get to the nitty gritty. Tony Abbott’s wife Margy is a New Zealander from Lower Hutt. It’s odd that this man will not even acknowledge this, but he goes ahead and slams Kiwis and makes sure that they will not get any benefit in the “Lucky Country”. Ok, I’m being a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ here, but you get the picture. Interesting that Aussies can arrive in NZ and pretty much get most of the benefits Kiwis get.

There are around 650,000 Kiwis living in Australia. A large number have been here for years, certainly before Howard decreed that any Kiwi living here after 26th Feb 2001 would not be entitled to benefits in this country.

There are a number of prominent Australians that have taken up the plight of their Trans Tasman neighbours and called this unfair! Personally, I do think that it is unfair as immigrants from other countries can get these entitlements without having to ‘jump through the hoops’.

Now, here’s the thing. I am going to be the first to admit that there are a lot of Pacific Islanders and this included Kiwis that are let’s say, less than desirable. We only have to look back to the beginning of this year and look at what happened in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Daniel Jermaine Lee Maxwell, has just last week, been committed to stand trial over the alleged one punch attack on Cole Miller in January.

I also agree that people who commit violence and other crimes and that threaten the very fabric of this society are not welcome. I don’t care who they are or where they come from! I would also agree with the statement I read the other day that getting rid of them is not racist, but it is acting in the best interests of the majority!

So, it begs the question… are we meant to feel sorry for the likes of Dylan Fraser, imprisoned at 19 after taking a baseball bat to another driver on a Sydney street? His mother and children live in Australia but he was deported and hit with $60,000 in legal costs for failed appeals.

I have no sympathy what-so-ever for these criminals. There is a growing element that has somehow managed to infiltrate the quiet neighbourhoods throughout this great nation. These individuals have, in many instances, gang affiliations and we are seeing more and more Maori becoming prominent in criminal activities. I was listening to a report that said that New Zealand’s opposition justice spokesman Kelvin Davis has described Kiwis who get their visas scrapped as “people you’d have a beer with at the pub”. 

I don’t know about that, but then there are a lot of Aussies and other nationalities living here who are just as violent and I wouldn’t have a beer with them either! I guess it has gone beyond the ‘mateship’ that inspired my granddad to go off and fight a war with other Kiwis and Aussies. Out of this bond of friendship came the “ANZACS”. Sadly today, I’m sure these brave souls would be turning in their grave at the way things have turned.

I do believe that there’s light on the horizon as earlier this year Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did announce a plan to grant permanent residency to New Zealanders who have lived in Australia for five years and earn at least $53,900 a year. In my opinion, it’s a start! I personally would like to see some sort of relaxed criteria for those with a permanent disability.

Now… Let’s look forward to the Bledisloe Cup this Saturday!

Dymocks Blogger Rewards

To write for Starts at 60 and potentially win a $20 voucher, send your articles to our Community Editor here.

Brian Portland

Broadcast Journalist.. Australasian Correspondent FSN Washington & London. Speech Writer..Motivational Speaker.. Production Voice Specialist.. Creative Writer.. (Speech, Print, Radio & Television) Double above knee amputee.. Motivational Speaker..(Available for any speaking engagement..)

  1. Can you please tell me who and what countries these people come from who don’t h ave to wait and obtain benefits as soon as they arrive. I have worked in Immigration and for various politicians, so I know this isn’t true. All have to wait the same amount of time. New Zealanders used to get the benefits as soon as they arrived, and records show as that many were on the dole, and had just arrived here. That is why this law was bought in, as Australia just couldn’t afford to keep paying for all these people. If you go and live and work anywhere in the world, you will have to pay tax to their government, that is the way the system works all over, so there is no getting round that.

    3 REPLY
    • Faye, except Australians arriving in NZ who are eligible for the dole and at one stage it was worth more and there were an awful lot of them.

      1 REPLY
      • The ratio of New Zealanders moving here compared to Aussies going to NZ is quite large, and our way, or always more moving here than vice versa, even allowing for differing populations. I did have the figures somewhere at work, but not exactly ;sure. The dole in Australia used to be much higher than in NZ, I am not sure about in the last 5 or 6 years. It may have changed, possibly not significantly thought

    • even pre 2/2001 there was a waiting time for benefits for NZders, rightly so IMO, one should have to work and contribute to the tax take to qualify for benefits. I believe “back in the day” one could move to Oz and go straight on the dole but those days were gone long before 2001.

      1 REPLY
      • That coming here & going on dole was possible in 1975 when I first came over & worked, but not in 1989 when I came back to live permanently. Before 2001 Kiwis had to find work as dole wasn’t available. I became an Australian citizen in 1996 when Howard threatened us about the kids not receiving Austudy. So things have been changing for years, but I believe things are very tough now for Kiwis. My advise is don’t come unless you can do it alone. I don’t think you are as welcome as some other nationalities.

    • Not quite correct, it’s been many years since Kiwis could arrive & go get the dole, too join the lazy bludging Aussies at the beach.

  2. People who came here as small children and whose parents are Australian should not be deported no matter what as they have learned all of their behaviours, whether good or bad, in Australia not in New Zealand. They do their time in prison and should remain the responsibility of Australia. We will be in deep s**t when the other countries start doing the same thing back to us but we will have brought it on ourselves.

  3. I understand Australia (and any country) wanting to be cautious over immigrants but there are some aspects of the policy towards those from NZ that give me concern. First, because Kiwis have a right to indefinite residency, they are, for some unknown reason, not usually able to progress to Australian citizenship. This means they are worse off than migrants from elsewhere! And that is what leads to the anomaly whereby people born in Australia of Kiwi parents, then brought up and living all their lives only in Australia, are still considered foreigners. As such they are not entitled to student loans nor social benefits and of course can be deported at any time to a country they have never known! Secondly, as others have noted, surely it is unreasonable to deny them social services when they have paid tax?

  4. Brian I get a disability support pension. Money from NZ, as I worked there for 30+ years before moving here, Centrelink helped me access that, and a card from here which entitles me to a discount on rates, transport, car rego, etc. No money from Oz, but that will change when I retire fully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *