6 Sep 2013

Lack of vote for kiwis in Australia discrimination - advocate

6:34 pm on 6 September 2013

Most New Zealand citizens who have moved across the Tasman will be excluded from taking part in the federal elections on Saturday, a Maori rights advocate based in Australia says.

Erina Anderson, who is of Ngapuhi descent, has been involved in raising awareness of legislation introduced in 2001 which barred New Zealanders from certain rights - including the right to vote in federal and state elections.

She says she's hopeful there will be change after Gregg Rudd, brother of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, exposed what she describes as discrimination.

The Adelaide-based Maori rights advocate, who fears a lot of new migrants from New Zealand won't realise they can't vote, says Gregg Rudd is one politician who has been vocal about the way New Zealanders have been treated.

It also demonstrates people cannot assume every politician is aware New Zealanders do not have voting rights, when someone such as Mr Rudd has only just found out about it, Ms Anderson says.

This side of the Tasman, recent Australian migrants who arrive in New Zealand can vote in general elections as long as they have residency.