ADF’s tighter security vetting prevents New Zealanders from joining

Close up of New Zealand and Australian soldiers side by side in uniform with their country flag on their sleeves.New Zealand and Australian soldiers stand side by side in uniform. (Photo: NZDF)

25 April 2019

Radio NZ article

More than 100 years after ANZAC bonds were forged at Gallipoli, concerns over a so-called “insider threat” are being blamed for a ban on New Zealanders joining the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Internal Defence correspondence obtained by the ABC reveals the ADF is withdrawing applications from young Kiwi recruits, partly because of tighter security vetting measures.

Australian citizenship is generally a requirement to join the ADF, but exemptions are routinely granted for recruits with highly sought-after specialist skills.

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders call Australia home, but for many there is virtually no chance they will ever be granted citizenship.

Kevin Bovill served in both the New Zealand and Australian armies, with deployments to Vietnam and Borneo, and  said, “They place absolutely no value on the loyalty and commitment expressed by these young kids who are endeavouring to make a career in the ADF.”

Andrew Greene, the ABC’s defence correspondent, talks to Radio NZ’s Guyon Espiner.

Listen: NZers in Australia denied Defence Force entry

Young Kiwi remains hopeful she can still join the ADF

Eighteen-year-old Sarah (not her real name) is an Army cadet who was recently told her application to join the Australian military had been rejected due to a change in regulations.

“I’m not going to let that dream go,” Sarah said. “I’m hoping that as soon as I can get citizenship through I’ll be there in my greens and serving my country.”

[Read the full Radio NZ article].


Find out your options for Australian citizenship.

Cannot join the Australia Defence Force? Contact your Federal MP and election candidates to let them know how the ADF policy impacts you.

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