Campaigning for the fair treatment of New Zealanders living in Australia

History of Oz Kiwi

31 May 2024

Timeline

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024

2013

Apr 2013 - Oz Kiwi formed when three Facebook groups with similar aims merged into the Oz Kiwi Association.

Mar 2013 - New Matilda published an article outlining the issues faced by Kiwis living in Australia.

May 2013 - TVNZ news item on New Zealanders lack of rights in Australia, including not being eligible for the new National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS).

May 2013 - Oz Kiwi established as an Incorporated Association with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

Jun 2013 - Oz Kiwi registered as a not for profit with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) for fund raising purposes nationally. The organisation is entirely funded by public donations.

Jun 2013 - A policy reform clarifies New Zealanders are eligible for Resident Return Visa. Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Dave Drummond held an information session in Melbourne.

Jun 2013 - Oz Kiwi petition launched asking the Australian government for a fair pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders living in Australia. It was tabled in Parliament in 2015.


2014

Jan 2014 - Pacific Highways a Special Category article by Peter Mares published. Mares dispels Howard's anti-Kiwi myths and explains how the LNP wound back their rights despite evidence of how much Australia benefits from New Zealanders. The article is an extract of Peter Mares book, Not Quite Australian.

May 2014 - Oz Kiwi created a Rights Comparison table to contrast the different rights of Kiwis and Aussies in each other's country.

Jul 2014 - Oz Kiwi made a submission (Submission 43) to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committees inquiry into domestic violence in Australia.

Nov 2014 - Section 501 character test amendment passed. The Section 501 amendment meant a non-citizen's visa is automatically cancelled for any new or historic sentences adding up to 12 months or more.


2015

Apr 2015 - Prior to 2015 almost no New Zealanders were being deported. From 2015 hundreds of Kiwis are deported annually under the S501 character test.

Jun 2015 - Oz Kiwi Briefing Paper outlining the history of the trans-Tasman relationship.

Jun 2015 - Oz Kiwi Policy Options Paper outlining options to provide a citizenship pathway for New Zealanders residing in Australia.

Jun 2015 - Oz Kiwi's first trip to Canberra. Oz Kiwi representatives met with MPs and Senators from various political parties to raise the issues facing New Zealanders in Australia.

Jun 2015 - Petition presented to New Zealand High Commission in Canberra for Prime Minister John Key.

Jun 2015 - Oz Kiwi’s petition for a fair pathway to citizenship with 18,000 signatures is tabled in Federal Parliament by Australian Labor Senator Ann Urquhart.

Jul 2015 - Jacqui Lambie obtained policy costings for New Zealanders being granted citizenship on behalf of Oz Kiwi from the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Oct 2015 - Clare O'Neil, ALP (Hotham, VIC) argued in Parliament for New Zealanders to get a fairer deal in Australia.

Nov 2015 - Jim Chalmers, ALP (Rankin, QLD) spoke in Parliament in support of giving young New Zealanders access to HELP loans.

Nov 2015 - Oz Kiwi criticised New Zealand Prime Minister John Key for not accomplishing much in seven years of “quiet diplomacy” on behalf New Zealanders in Australia.

Nov 2015 - Oz Kiwi representatives in Canberra with New Zealand Labour's Andrew Little and Phil Goff.

Nov 2015 - New Zealand Labour leader Andrew Little, and Phil Goff MP, spoke at an Oz Kiwi public meeting in Sydney, NSW.


2016

Jan 2016 - Some New Zealand citizens became eligible for HELP loans from the 1 January 2016.

Feb 2016 - The Australian government announces a new permanent visa for some New Zealand non-protected Special Category Visa-holders (SCVs) living in Australia. This was the first major positive reform for SCVs in over 15 years.

Aug 2016 - Two Oz Kiwi representatives met with MPs in Wellington to raise issues facing New Zealanders in Australia

Aug 2016 - Not quite Australian book by Peter Mares published. It investigates the complex realities of temporary visa migration with a chapter on the Special Category Visa.

Oct 2016 - Oz Kiwi has Information stall at the Aotearoa Festival, Melbourne Migration Museum.

Nov 2016 - Oz Kiwi return to Canberra to meet with Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum as well as Government department representatives.


2017

Jan 2017 - The Federal Government announces a Productivity Commission inquiry into the NDIS.

Feb 2017 - Oz Kiwi representatives met with Department of Immigration officials in Canberra to discuss exemptions to the proposed requirements for the NZ 189 visa.

Mar 2017 - Oz Kiwi holds a Gold Coast information session with over 200 people attending, one of our largest.

Jun 2017 - Oz Kiwi representatives met with New Zealand Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee in Wellington who reassured us that the New Zealand National Government is working to protect expats rights.

Jun 2017 - Oz Kiwi return to Canberra aiming to prevent the LNP Coalition Government's proposed policy changes to extend the citizenship residency requirement from one to four years; plus the Education Reform Package (University funding) with cross-bench Senators and Opposition MPs.

Jul 2017 - A new permanent visa, the New Zealand Stream 189 visa, became available on 1 July 2017 for some non-protected Special Category Visa-holders (SCVs). It was not a fair citizenship pathway due to the residency cut-off date, income requirement and application fee. The visa closed to new applicants in Oct 2022.

Aug 2017 - Oz Kiwi submits to the Australian Government's Strengthening the Test for Australian Citizenship review. The submission is one of a small number published on the DIBPs website.

Aug 2017 - Oz Kiwi is one of only 11 organisations to be asked to appear as a witness at the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Senate inquiry into the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Aug 2017 - Oz Kiwi representatives attended a Senate hearing into the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Friday 25 August 2017.

Sep 2017 - Australian Labour Party information session on the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill.


2018

March 2018 – A visa cancellation review by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration was announced in March 2018. Some submissions were published on the Committee’s website, including one by Oz Kiwi.

May 2018 - The Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs calls for submissions on the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2018. Oz Kiwi’s submission was published on the Committee’s website.

Jul 2018 - New Zealanders suffering disproportionately in Aus immigration detention Oz Kiwi presented to an Australian Parliamentary Committee into immigration detention of New Zealanders.

Nov 2018 - Oz Kiwi made a submission to the Farm Household Allowance review, which provides help for farmers facing hardship, particularly during drought Any non-citizen or permanent resident New Zealander is ineligible. Submissions have not been made public.


2019

Jan 2019 - Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten promises to give New Zealanders living in Australia a "fairer deal" under a Labor government.

Feb 2019 - Oz Kiwi and the New Zealand High Commission feature in a Parliamentary report on processing of visa cancellations.

Feb 2019 - Oz Kiwi return to Canberra to discuss policy issues with ALP senior caucus members.

Feb 2019 - Oz Kiwi and the New Zealand High Commission feature in a Parliamentary report on the processing of visa cancellations.

Feb 2019 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern again criticised the Australian government's deportation policy.

Mar 2019 - Senator Pauline Hanson tabled a new Citizenship Legislation Amendment Bill in the Senate.

Mar 2019 - Report on Australian Citizenship Bill (2018) The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has released a report on its inquiry into the Australian Citizenship Amendment Bill 2018.

May 2019 - Many New Zealanders living in Australia hoped that the Australian Labor Party would win the general election so they can be treated better.

Jun 2019 - Oz Kiwi went on hiatus following the re-election of the LNP government.


2020

Feb 2020 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tells the Australian Coalition Government, "Do not deport your people and your problems". Kiwis who have no family or long-term connections to New Zealand were being deported.

Mar 2020 - New Zealanders are given temporary access to their Superannuation funds if under financial stress or job loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mar 2020 - Prime Minister Ardern says situation for Kiwis living in Australia 'very urgent', urges Australia to assist them.

Mar 2020 - Kiwis eligible for new Australian JobKeeper wage subsidy during Covid-19 pandemic.

Apr 2020 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern chastises Australia for telling out of work Kiwis to go home.

Apr 2020 - Andrew Giles MP (Scullion, ALP) wrote an article on the importance of supporting temporary visa-holders particularly in the exceptional conditions like the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 2020 - Oz Kiwi made a submission to the Select Committee on Temporary Migration inquiry into the impact temporary migration has on the Australian economy, social cohesion etc.


2021

Sep 2021 - The Select Committee on Temporary Migration report on Temporary Migration is released.


2022

May 2022 - The Australian Labor Party wins the 2022 Federal election and form government.

May 2022 - Oz Kiwi congratulate the Australian Labor Party on gaining office. Finally we have the right Party in Government to effect positive change for Special Category Visa-holders (SCVs).

Jun 2022 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for an easier pathway to citizenship for Kiwis who live in Australia.

Jul 2022 - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commits to reviewing New Zealanders rights, including the path to citizenship. There were no public submissions for the review, however, Oz Kiwi were honoured to be included in the consultation process.

Sep 2022 - Oz Kiwi had very constructive meetings with the new Australian Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers plus the Department of Home Affairs about the Australian government review of New Zealanders rights.

Sep 2022 - Oz Kiwi made a submission to the Albanese Government's review of Australia’s migration system.

Oct 2022 - The Australian government closed the New Zealand 189 Visa to new applications, pending the review of New Zealanders rights, and announced additional funding to clear the backlog.

Oct 2022 - Oz Kiwi Q&A with Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil about the New Zealand 189 visa and review of New Zealanders rights in Australia.

Nov 2022 - Oz Kiwi representatives met with New Zealand High Commissioner Dame Annette King in Canberra. Dame Annette King and the High Commission staff do a lot of advocacy work on behalf of New Zealanders in Australia and take a keen interest in our work.

Nov 2022 - Oz Kiwi representatives met with Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, and Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles in Canberra to discuss the review of New Zealanders rights in Australia.

Nov 2022 - Australian Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil is working on potential positive changes to Australian immigration.

Dec 2022 - Back-dated PR for New Zealand 189 visa applicants. Applicants granted the visa from January 2022 to June 2023 can apply for citizenship from 1 January 2023.

Dec 2022 - Additional Home Affairs visa and citizenship processing staff are working to clear the backlog of visa and citizenship applications.

Dec 2022 - Income and health check requirements eased for New Zealanders' applying for Australian permanent residency to help clear a backlog of 11,500 applications.


2023

Feb 2023 - Changes for New Zealanders facing deportation from Australia. Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles has told the Department of Home Affairs to take a common sense approach, to consider Kiwis ties to Australia, length of time residing, children and whānau in Australia etc.

Apr 2023 - New direct citizenship pathway for New Zealanders living in Australia! Oz Kiwi stunned by the extent of the reforms announced by Albanese Labor government.

Apr 2023 - Direct citizenship pathway for New Zealanders living in Australia announced by Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil.

Apr 2023 - Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil caught up with Oz Kiwi representatives in Brisbane to publicly thank them for their mahi / work on the new direct pathway to citizenship for Kiwis.

Apr 2023 - The Oz Kiwi team attended a very special Australian Citizenship ceremony today in Brisbane.

Apr 2023 - Oz Kiwi offers heartfelt thanks to the groups and people who have helped deliver change.

Jun 2023 - Minister for Citizenship, Immigration & Cultural Affairs Andrew Giles gave a shout out to Oz Kiwi during a speech in Parliament.

Jun 2023 - Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil video message explains the direct citizenship pathway for New Zealanders, opening on 1 July 2023.

Jun 2023 - Oz Kiwi webinar with Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil about the new direct citizenship pathway.

Jul 2023 - New direct citizenship pathway for New Zealanders living in Australia opens.

Jul 2023 - Oz Kiwi published information about the new citizenship pathway, including Citizenship FAQs and a troubleshooting guide.

Jul 2023 - Almost 2,000 New Zealanders applied for Australian citizenship within first few days of new direct pathway.

13 Sep 2023 - Tim Watts MP (Gellibrand, VIC) thanked Oz Kiwi for their advocacy mahi / work when he spoke in the House of Representatives about Australian Labor's new direct pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders who call Australia home.

Oct 2023 - More than 30,000 New Zealanders have applied for Australian citizenship since the direct pathway opened on 1 July 2023.


2024

Apr 2024 - More than 53,200 New Zealanders have applied since 1 July 2023 and 13,900 have attended their Australian citizenship ceremony. Statistics courtesy of the Department of Home Affairs.

Apr 2024 - Four special Australian citizenship ceremonies were held in Brisbane over ANZAC weekend. The ceremonies in Brisbane, Logan, and Ipswich, were hosted by Federal Minister for Home Affairs Clare O'Neil, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers plus Federal MPs Sayne Neumann (Ipswich, QLD) and Milton Dick (Oxley, QLD).

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Oz Kiwi is run by volunteers and entirely funded by public donations. Please consider donating to help Oz Kiwi advocate on behalf of New Zealanders living in Australia.

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