15 Nov 2004

Samoans to take fight against NZ citizenship Act to UN Human Rights Committee

4:35 pm on 15 November 2004

A Samoan born former New Zealand MP Anae Arthur Anae is mounting an international case in a bid to repeal a law that stripped Samoans of their right to New Zealand citizenship.

Anae says the New Zealand Government's recent immigration trade-offs were not enough to appease Samoans fighting to reinstate their citizenship.

According to a report in the Sunday Star Times, the case, which also aims to claim millions of dollars in compensation, will be taken to the United Nations' Human Rights Committee.

Anae says they aim to expose New Zealand internationally - that a country that stood against apartheid at the same time denied its citizens their rights.

He spearheaded a 100,000-strong petition to the New Zealand government earlier this year that called for the repeal of the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982.

The act had been rushed through by then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon after a Privy Council ruling granted citizenship to all Samoans born between 1924 and 1948 and their children.

Anae, who has teamed with George Barton QC, has dismissed the Government compromise that makes it easier for Samoans to get access to the annual residents quota system .