By Duncan Garner, RadioLIVE Drive host
Australia has every right to deny Kiwis access to welfare, housing and unemployment payments and the other perks of being a citizen.
When Kiwis decide to up sticks and leave New Zealand, they do so with their eyes wide open. If they don’t do that – they are fools. They know the rules, they're only an internet search away.
These Kiwis ditched New Zealand; why should that be Australia’s problem? They may indeed be taking the job of an Australian in the process.
The rules have been clear since 2001 when Helen Clark and John Howard agreed to them. This is why David Cunliffe’s faux outrage should be ignored. He was part of a Government that signed this over. Even the Prime Minister has called Cunliffe an ‘idiot’ over his stance. Best he stay quiet on this.
But the truth is New Zealanders still have free right of access into Australia; they can stay as long as they like, as a resident. But they will never be regarded as an Australian. And nor should they. Why should we make it easier for Kiwis to flock to Australia?
Do we want to keep losing our people? Can we afford to lose a city the size of Whangarei every year? No, we can’t.
So many New Zealanders have gone to Australia because they were fed up with New Zealand and its perceived lack of jobs and opportunities. So they were happy to take the good bits. They were happy to cash in on the good times.
Almost 600,000 Kiwis now live in Australia. For a decade, now, Kiwis have flocked to Australia. Some years more than 50,000 departed. They’ve flocked because the jobs are better, the pay is much better and the weather is warmer. They went in search of the lucky country.
But Australia is also unforgiving. Their politicians are tough bastards and they have made the rules so their people come first. What’s wrong with that?
Australia faces a budget deficit of $50bn this year. Why would they, or should they, extend that by paying Kiwis a host of benefits that they can rightfully claim at home, just two hours away?
My sister went to Australia with her husband and kids ten years ago. She loves the lifestyle – she accepts their plight – getting and keeping jobs for them hasn’t always been easy – and I would describe their experience as ‘not bad.’
But financially they haven’t got ahead – I don’t think – but the kids love their schools – and they have a $400-a-week house on the Gold Coast with a massive pool. Their supermarkets are much cheaper – she says.
So to those moaning, I say this: if you don’t like it, you can always come home.