4 Mar 2014

Trans-Tasman relations threat - Labour

10:36 am on 4 March 2014

The Labour Party says a proposed law change in Australia shows the Abbot government is moving the goal-posts on New Zealanders who have lived and paid taxes there for more than 13 years.

A bill to be presented to the Australian parliament would remove the right of New Zealanders who moved there before 2001 to an employment incentive grant.

Phil Goff.

Phil Goff. Photo: RNZ

In 2001 the Australian government decided all new migrants from New Zealand to Australia would not be eligible for the same benefits as an Australian resident.

However, it decided it would continue to treat residents who moved before that date the same as Australians.

Labour's associate foreign affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff, says the bill will breach that arrangement and hurt trans-Tasman relations.