We’re a bit peeved with New Zealand at the moment, and rightfully so.
They just don’t seem to understand that our ‘special relationship’ can’t work if backdoor migration isn’t clamped down on.
What’s the big deal?
Well, we currently have a bilateral deal with the Kiwis that essentially allows free movement of peoples between our countries.
It’s a great deal when immigration is effectively enforced in both countries. We can live, study and work a short hop away, without applying for a visa beforehand. It’s as hard as landing at the airport and zooming through customs. The visas are given automatically and electronically, assuming you are of sound character and health.
But if one of us doesn’t maintain strong borders (looking at you NZ), the deal could prove untenable. When large numbers of people can bypass stringent Australian immigration controls, the viability of the system comes into question.
Consider after the Global Financial Crisis when migration from NZ to Australia rose by a huge 40%. Many of the migrants were born in third countries, largely of South Pacific and Asian origin, and used New Zealand as a staging point to enter Australia.
This also goes for the rich, by the way
In NZ they even have investor visas available. If a suitably rich individual is willing to invest just NZ$3 million over a four-year period they can gain resident status (and if you have over NZ$10 million ready to spend, it’s even easier…).
Wealthy individuals clearly think they’re above waiting — here’s a quote from Californian Billionaire Ric Kayne:
‘Part of what attracts people like us to New Zealand is the warmth and openness this country displays to visitors and newcomers.
‘I would hope that amendments are able to be made which provide some discretion and flexibility for persons like me.’
We believe in immigration, but it must be legal and it must be fair. No circumventing our system by first taking up residence in NZ.
What’s being done?
We’ve had to tighten the privileges afforded to Kiwis here in Australia. Since 2001, services such as student loans, public housing and benefits have been increasingly restricted.
And New Zealand has stepped up in recent days and moved to restrict house sales to foreign investors (read: speculators).
It is more likely the result of flashy NZ headlines showing foreign investors snatching up mansions and farmland alike, rather than Australia’s continued qualms.
See, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern proved the disconnect continues after requesting that refugees being processed on Manus and Nauru islands be sent to New Zealand for settlement. Under that plan, they could quickly end up back in Oz…
Maybe, just maybe, when the Kiwis start to feel the effects of extended immigration and richies seeking a bolthole hideout, they will come to their senses?
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