Editorial: Mates’ fair dinkum deal

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, right, has made it clear he wants to emulate his New Zealand counterpart, John Key.

24 February 2016 (DomPost)

OPINION: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s professions of admiration for his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, must have been genuine. Turnbull not only had Key over to his Sydney mansion for a sleepover; he threw him the biggest bone any New Zealand prime minister has received in decades.

Australia famously ditched many of its commitments to non-citizen New Zealanders living in the country in 2001. They were allowed to stay on, but could not claim such benefits as welfare payments or student loans.

Turnbull’s deal opens a new doorway to citizenship for somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 Kiwis. That is perhaps only half of the New Zealanders who entered Australia after 2001, so the deal is hardly perfect. By restricting the option to those earning more than A$53,900 a year, for five years, Australia presumably will continue to prise out those most likely to fall on hard times and need state help.

[Read the DomPost article]

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