17 Jul 2013

Campaign for fair go in Australia

7:51 am on 17 July 2013

A Ngapuhi woman wants the Government to lobby Canberra for equal rights for New Zealand migrants living in Australia.

The Oz Kiwi campaign is petitioning the Australian government about law changes in 2001 that blocked New Zealanders from receiving certain benefits including student allowances and made it harder for them to gain citizenship.

The leader of the campaign, Erina Anderson, says politicians need to stop side-stepping the issue and have a genuine talk about it.

She says she wants the New Zealand Government to approach the Australian government and have meaningful discussions about what she calls discriminatory laws.

Ms Anderson says politicians on both sides of the Tasman have been dodging the issue and telling New Zealanders to apply for permanent residency.

But she says anyone who truly understands what this means knows that there is no way they can possibly gain a visa.

The Oz Kiwi campaign says Australians who migrate to New Zealand can gain citizenship easily, vote in general elections, get access to benefits and jobs in the government sector and the Defence Force while New Zealanders are barred from those rights in Australia.

The campaign is holding hui in all states and territories to raise awareness of these issues and has been receiving support from thousands of New Zealanders and Australians who view the federal laws as being discriminatory and against the ANZAC spirit.