23 May 2013

Recent NZ migrants ineligible for Australian scheme

8:06 am on 23 May 2013

A Maori studies researcher at Victoria University who is surveying Maori migrants in Australia says recent arrivals will be denied access to the Federal Government's new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS is a health programme initiated by the Australian Government soon be to be rolled out in July to South Australia, Tasmania, and parts of Victoria and New South Wales.

It provides support for people with a significant or permanent disability, similar to New Zealand's ACC scheme.

Only New Zealanders who have full Australian citizenship and those who arrived before 2001 can apply.

Currently, all New Zealanders in Australia are eligible for Medicare due to a reciprocal primary health care agreement between the country's two governments.

Maori migration expert Paul Hamer says New Zealand migrants will be funding the new NDIS system through an increase in the Medicare levy, but those residents who arrived in Australia after 2001 still won't be able to benefit from it.

He says this is an example of taxation without representation and those New Zealanders, including Maori, who are vulnerable will suffer because of it.