Oz-Kiwi chairman Dr Timothy Gassin says retaliation isn’t the right call. (Video – The AM Show)
Oz Kiwi opinion
Oz Kiwi has always opposed retaliation against Australians who’ve made New Zealand their home.
Australians in NZ are not to blame for the Australian Government’s actions. Indeed, they’re generally ineligible to vote in Australian elections! Targetting them would do nothing to advance the cause of New Zealanders in Australia.
That said, we believe the New Zealand Government could take a tougher line with Australia. New Zealand has too often given the impression that Australia can get away with gutting the rights of Kiwis with no consequence.
The key is to find leverage on issues within the relationship that would lead to pressure being applied to Australian politicians to fix the mess they’re created. This will require some creativity, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Kiwis want retaliation over Australian rights
Jenna Lynch – NewsHub
A majority of Kiwis want the Government to strike back next time Australia tries to take away rights of New Zealanders living across the ditch, a Newshub-Reid Research poll has found.
In the Newshub Leaders’ Debate, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern committed to a retaliation.
“If they lock us out of tertiary education we’ll lock them out here,” she said.
However National leader Bill English says retaliation doesn’t make sense – and Dr Timothy Gassin, chairman of advocacy group Oz-Kiwi, agrees with him.
“We’re inclined against retaliation,” Dr Gassin said.
“We think sometimes the Government could take a tougher stand, but the idea of just targeting Australians who’ve made their life in New Zealand – people who’ve contributed to our society, who are part of the community – isn’t really going to help this.
“There might be a cathartic element of saying, ‘We got back at the Aussies’ – but as far as actually helping the situation, it’s not going to do anything.
“Certainly we could try and put a bit more pressure on – but this idea of saying, ‘We’re going to retaliate, we’re going to hit back at Australia,’ is not particularly productive in achieving better results for New Zealanders in Australia.”
Dr Gassin says for all the talk of Anzac spirit between the two nations, Australia has slowly been removing any privileges enjoyed by Kiwis over there.
“What they say and what they do in practice can be quite separate things.
“This is something I think New Zealanders should be concerned about: that whilst Kiwis in Australia can come back for education in New Zealand, they can come back and receive welfare benefits, they haven’t been paying taxes here – they’ve been paying taxes in Australia.
“Australia’s taking these people’s taxes, they’re taking the benefits of the labour and the benefits of their social contributions – but when something goes wrong, or when these people want to advance themselves in education, they have to come back to New Zealand.”
[Read the full Newshub article].