Aussie MP moves to cut Kiwis' right to live across Tasman

By Edward Gay

Bondi Beach in Sydney. Photo / Supplied
Bondi Beach in Sydney. Photo / Supplied

Automatic entry for Kiwis moving to Australia would be a thing of the past if an Australian Labour MP gets his way.

The outspoken MP, Kelvin Thomson, has released a 14 point plan to reduce Australia's population and number six on the list is limiting the number of New Zealanders who cross the Tasman to live permanently.

"To reach a net overseas annual migration target of 70,000, the number of automatic places available for New Zealanders needs to be restricted to the number of departures from Australia over and above 25,000," Mr Thomson said.

He said the Trans-Tasman Travel arrangement would have to be "re-negotiated" in order to cut the number of New Zealanders settling in Australia.

Mr Thomson said New Zealanders should be competing for skilled migrant places along with people of other nationalities.

He said 47,780 Kiwis have migrated to Australia in 2008-09 - up from 16,364 in 2002-03.

"This open-ended, uncapped program makes it impossible for Australia or New Zealand to implement a population policy and it needs to be reformed," Mr Thomson said.

He said Australia needs to get New Zealand to look at their population capacity "rather than simply acting as an overflow for surplus population".

Mr Thomson also proposed limiting the overall numbers of people arriving as skilled migrants, and as part of the family reunion scheme. He also proposed increasing the refugee quota.

He said Australia needed to stabilise its population at 26 million and this would be achieved by cutting migration to 70,000 people a year.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has previously opposed limiting immigration numbers, saying he supports a "big Australia".

"I make no apology for that. I actually think it's good news that our population is growing. I think it's good ... for our national security long term, it's good in terms of what we can sustain as a nation," the Daily Telegraph in Australia reported.

- NZ Herald

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