17 Feb 2014

Party wants to 'galvanise' expatriates

1:56 pm on 17 February 2014

A new political party plans to have MPs based in London and Australia, saying, it makes sense as 20 percent of the New Zealand population lives overseas.

The Expatriate Party has been set up by New Zealanders living in Australia.

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Spokesperson Nick Tuelon says it is all about galvanising the one million expatriates.

Mr Tuelon the party has the minimum 500 paid members required to register it, and field candidates in this year's general election.

He says the party wants to change the law stopping New Zealanders living overseas from voting unless they have been back in the past three years.

Mr Tuelon says by comparison, Canada has a five-year window and for the United Kingdom it's 15 years.

He says the party wants fair treatment for New Zealanders globally.

Mr Tuelon says many expatriates want to vote, care deeply about New Zealand's current affairs, and maintain strong financial ties to the country.

"The purpose of the expat party is 20 percent of New Zealand's population lives offshore and we feel that's probably the largest minority in New Zealand," he says.

"And we feel that it's high time that the New Zealand government took more interest in expats and expats should take more interest in New Zealand as well, so we feel like it could be a win-win situation here."