‘We want less uncertainty’ – Bill English on Kiwis living in Australia

After a spate of decisions affecting Kiwis in Australia, Bill English says there will be discussions where the relationship “will go from here”. (Video: Breakfast)

The Prime Minister is calling for “less uncertainty” after announcements from the Australian Government which will have negative impacts on Kiwis living across the ditch.

The latest announcement, last week, means Kiwi students living in Australia will have to pay full university fees.

Speaking on TVNZ1’s Breakfast today, Mr English said discussions are to take place with how to deal with Australia’s policy changes.

Despite “a couple of positive things” recently announced such as the confirmation of the original path to citizenship deal and a reassurance “they will communicate with us about changes in policy”, Mr English said he still wanted “less uncertainty”.

He says the behaviour of Australia towards New Zealand has made him “unhappy”.

“It has not been consistent with the special relationship that New Zealanders have with Australia … over the way we deal with each other’s citizens.”
When asked if the recent changes by the Australian government would have gone ahead under John Key as prime minister, Mr English said, “I think with pressures over their fiscal policies and their politics, they’d make exactly the same decisions whoever was prime minister.”

A new policy announced in Canberra last Monday proposed funding cuts that will mean subsidies for Kiwis living in Australia will be withdrawn from next year – though Kiwis will still be able to apply for Australian student loans.

[Read the TVNZ article].

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