Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Rudd's flyer floors Kiwi

Paula Millar (centre, top) has appeared in campaign literature for Kevin Rudd implying that she will be voting for Mr Rudd, despite being unable to do so as a Kiwi.
Paula Millar (centre, top) has appeared in campaign literature for Kevin Rudd implying that she will be voting for Mr Rudd, despite being unable to do so as a Kiwi.

A New Zealand woman who complained to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about the rights of Kiwis across the Tasman has featured in a campaign pamphlet saying she'll vote for him - despite it being illegal for her to do so.

Paulla Millar's photo, her misspelled name and a quote from her praising the PM is in his campaign pamphlet headed 'He has always stood up for us. That's why we will be voting for him this Saturday 7 September'. Alongside is a text box quoting her as saying: "I support him because he is actually a really genuine person. I believe in the things that he says."

Mrs Millar, who is originally from Auckland, is not an Australian citizen and therefore unable to vote in the election. That and other disadvantages for tax-paying Kiwis living in the country has increasingly angered Mrs Millar since she moved to Brisbane with her husband Jason and sons Liam, 8, and Charlie, 7 in 2008.

In July she wrote to Mr Rudd's office outlining her concerns that included her gripe with not being able to vote.

"Both of us work fulltime in pretty good jobs, we own our own home here and have two sons who we want to grow up here," she told the Herald.

"If they go to university they won't qualify for government loans, they won't be able to join the defence forces - we all live here but are not able to participate in the country and help decide what our tax money is used for."

A staff member from his electoral office in Morningside, where the Millars also live, phoned Mrs Millar and invited her to discuss her concerns in person.

Mrs Millar said she was surprised when she arrived that Mr Rudd was not there, and that she instead had her photo taken by two members of his staff and was asked questions unrelated to her letter.

"Then, [on Tuesday] this pamphlet came in the mail and I am centre stage, I can't believe it."

She says the quote attributed to her was taken out of context because of her reason for contacting Mr Rudd's office.

"I did say it, and they told me they were taking the photos for a brochure they were making, but I thought they would be pretty silly to actually use me [in the brochure], and, yeah, I do feel it has been taken a little bit out of context."

A statement from Mr Rudd's office did not address questions from the Herald relating to the decision to publish Mrs Millar in the pamphlet. It said Mrs Millar consented to using her statement and that the Australian Government "regularly discusses the issue of rights for New Zealand residents in Australia with the Government of New Zealand".

- NZ Herald

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