9 May 2017

Is NZ an easy route to Australian residency?

From Morning Report, 7:14 am on 9 May 2017

The Prime Minister Bill English doesn't understand why Australia thinks New Zealand is a soft backdoor route for migrants entering their country, but the New Zealand First leader Winston Peters sees their point.  

Bill English speaks at a press conference after meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Bill English Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Pasons-King

Mr English says Australia's concerns about New Zealand being used as an easy route to gaining Australian residency were raised during discussions about the possibility of a common border.

"This issue around whether New Zealand is a soft entry to Australia is one that in that context has come up.

"But it's been quite hard to pin down just what exactly they think the problem is," he said.

But the New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Australia has long considered New Zealand a backdoor route for migrants wanting to live in their country.

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Photo: RNZ / Supplied The House

Mr Peters says the Australian government has been talking about the problem since the mid-1990s and New Zealand's failure to act has led to the reduction in entitlements and rights of New Zealanders living in Australia.

Mr Peters also told Morning Report Statistics NZ information on New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia is wrong.