April 22, 2023

The Coalition welcomes New Zealand citizens who have lived in Australia, contributed to our country, are of good character and want to become Australian.

Australia and New Zealand are family. Our citizens have fought and died side by side, defending our freedoms. We are bonded together by people, culture, business, sport and art.

The Coalition has the deepest respect for New Zealand and its people.

We welcome people who are committed to Australian values and who respect our rights, liberties and laws.

Australian citizenship is an incredible privilege and is bestowed with responsibility on the recipient.

Labor has once again made a commitment without providing the full detail to the Australian people.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese must answer these questions about his announcement:

Will New Zealand citizens who accept the offer to become Australian citizens be included as part of the current 195,000 immigration cap or counted separately?

Labor has already increased the permanent migration cap and is letting net overseas migration run rampant without a plan to address the impact on the housing and rental crisis, congestion and the environment.

Labor needs to explain if the New Zealand citizens will replace much-needed highly-skilled workers, like nurses, teachers and engineers, from within the immigration cap.

What will be the impact on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Higher Education Loan Program, social security and other government programs from the additional new citizens?

How will Labor treat New Zealand citizens who are convicted of crimes and would previously have been subject to deportation because of the Migration Act?

The Coalition refused or cancelled 10,206 visas under the character provision of the Migration Act, including 335 who were Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members, associates, or organised crime figures. Labor is already tracking to kick out half the number of non-citizens who fail the character test.

If this announcement is about a “fair change”, why will Australians wait five years to become New Zealand citizens, but New Zealanders will wait only four years to become Australian citizens?

Will the Labor Government give New Zealanders who are not citizens a vote in Australian elections, as the Prime Minister has said was being considered?

This will undermine Australia’s non-discriminatory immigration policy by giving preferential treatment to one group of people over another; it will also introduce significant constitutional and legal risks to election results.

The Coalition supports an immigration system where the government has control of the borders, a system run with integrity and that delivers an economic dividend to the nation.

A better Australia, not Labor’s approach, which is a bigger Australia.

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232