Australians don’t see Kiwis as immigrants

Kiwis do not get a mention in Australia’s discussion of immigration. (Photo: Getty Images)

Australians don’t see Kiwis as immigrants and that’s a problem

09 November 2018

Professor Paul Spoonley attended the Metropolis conference on immigration in Sydney.  In a New Zealand Herald article he wrote of his concern that, “there were literally no references made to New Zealand anywhere, except by those actually from New Zealand.”

“This was puzzling given that New Zealanders represent one of the largest overseas-born populations, hence “immigrants”, in Australia. But it was clear that when immigration and immigrants were discussed, it was a minus-one definition — immigrants were those from anywhere but New Zealand.”

“This was underlined by the complete lack of any reference to the way in which New Zealanders are treated as immigrants. This began to unravel in 2001 and has been compounded by subsequent changes so that New Zealanders now have fewer settlement and access rights than immigrants from elsewhere in the world.”

“New Zealand politicians of varying persuasions have been completely unable to get Australian politicians, of varying persuasions, to even discuss the issues, much less to redress the inequities.”

“But we – New Zealand – have a problem. We simply do not feature on this side of the Tasman when it comes to immigration debates. This is going to be become an even more significant issue.”


Professor Paul Spoonley of Massey University, was elected the co-director of Metropolis International in Sydney.

[Read the full NZ Herald article].

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