February 23, 2016
Aussie visa change step in right direction
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says changes to Australia's immigration rules will give some Maori in Australia some hope for their future.
The new special visas which give a faster track to citizenship require people to have earned over A$53,000 for five consecutive years since 2001.
Mrs Fox says that threshold will continue to be a burden for many kiwis, but higher wages paid across the Tasman means it's achievable for many.
She says the plight of kiwis in Australia was one of the first issues she took up as an MP, but there was no appetite for change under former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott.
"Now that there is a new prime minister in Australia there seems to be more willingness to make moves in the right direction. It doesn't go all the way but it is great news for kiwis living in Australia who have been locked out of education, locked out of social services despite the fact they have lived there forever and paid taxes in the country," Ms Fox says.
One in six Maori now live in Australia so it's important they be treated fairly.
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