NZ, Australia launch transtasman criminal checks trial

Photo / File
Photo / File

Australia and New Zealand have launched a six-month trial to share criminal history information so bosses on both sides of the Tasman can vet potential employees.

During the trial, NZ will be able to seek criminal records from all Australian states and territories while only Queensland will be able to seek criminal records from NZ.

"This will enable employers to make more informed employment decisions and means better protection for the community from people who may pose a risk," Australia's Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said in a statement on Tuesday.

Once the trial is over in December 2012, a decision will be made on expanding the arrangement to other Australian jurisdictions to make requests for criminal records from NZ.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Prime Minister John Key announced the trial in January, after New Zealander Hohepa Morehu-Barlow was last year arrested for allegedly defrauding Queensland Health of $16 million.

His criminal background was not checked before he took the job.

"In a sense, we now have what I think is an Australasian employment market and we need to reflect that in the way we share information," Key said in January.

-AAP

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