October 09, 2012
No safety net for mozzies
Concern is growing about the fate of young New Zealanders, especially Maori, who fall on hard times in Australia.
Changes to immigration rules a decade ago amid a political furore about supposed back door migration means they are denied welfare benefits, even if they have lived and worked in Australia most of their lives.
They also don’t qualify for tertiary loans, so their education stops after high school, and in some states they will be denied state housing and disability support.
The Australian Immigration and Citizen Department estimates there are 240,000 non-protected New Zealanders in Australia.
Labour MP Phil Goff, who was foreign minister at the time of the changes were imposed, says New Zealand didn’t agree with them at the time.
He wants the Government to ask the Australians to change them.