Racism behind Australia’s attitude towards Kiwis, says former immigration minister

Gerry Brownlee met with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Sydney over concerns about Australia’s plans to exclude Kiwis from cheaper education. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

Former immigration minister Aussie Malcolm says racism is behind Australia’s attitude to this country, and New Zealand should treat Australians the same way as Australia treats Kiwis.

Minister from 1981-1984, Malcolm told Radio NZ on Wednesday that Australian ministers would tell him “on the down low” that New Zealanders were different because they included Maori and Pacific Islanders.

“Australians say look at these people coming into Australia. They’re not New Zealanders. They got in by the backdoor, but you and I would look at them and say they are New Zealanders, mate.

Former Immigration Minister Aussie Malcolm says racism is driving Australia’s crackdown on New Zealand immigrants and says our government should play tit-for-tat and make life tougher for Australians living here.

“Just because they’ve got a Tongan name, or a Samoan name, or brown skin, doesn’t make them not New Zealanders. But you see, the Australian mindset says they can’t be New Zealanders because they’re different,” Malcolm, who runs an immigration consultancy, said.

Thousands of Australians were sending their children to New Zealand schools for free, and others were in New Zealand prisons, or taking jobs in this country, he said.

New Zealand should treat Australians the same way Kiwis were being treated in Australia.

The number of New Zealanders granted permanent residency in Australia has plummeted. In 2012 the number was about 2500- but in the eight months to February the number was just 45 [this figure does not include those granted a Resident Return Visa].

“I’m sorry to say it, but I think so, because this prejudice by Australians against New Zealanders has gone on and one for what 20, 25 years. I think it’s time for New Zealand to call it quits.”

[Read the Stuff article].

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