30 Jan 2012

Welfare for NZers in Australia discussed

12:22 pm on 30 January 2012

Prime Minister John Key says the matter of allowing New Zealanders access to welfare payments in Australia, is now in Australia's hands.

Mr Key says there were extensive discussions about the matter during a joint Cabinet with the federal government meeting in Melbourne on Sunday - the second to be held between the two countries.

More than 100,000 New Zealanders work in Australia, but are not eligible for residency and therefore miss a number of benefits.

Mr Key told Morning Report he did not get a firm commitment from Australia, but said the federal government has a strong understanding of the issue.

He said he's confident progress has been made.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she was well aware of New Zealand's concerns, but was making no promises.