Expat Party taking run at Parliament

By Derek Cheng

Key election policy is seeking better deal for Kiwis living in Oz, says spokesman

The Expatriate Party wants to enforce policies that are fairer for Kiwi's living in Australia. Photo / Ross Setford
The Expatriate Party wants to enforce policies that are fairer for Kiwi's living in Australia. Photo / Ross Setford

Ten-year passports, a chance for Australian permanent residency after five years living there and emergency help for expat Kiwis are among the policy wishes of the Expatriate Party - a new party that intends to contest this year's New Zealand election.

Spokesman Grant Cheesman, who is from Oamaru but has lived in Australia for more than 10 years, said expats have no voice in the New Zealand Parliament.

"More than one million New Zealanders live offshore - 650,000 in Australia.

"Those people are completely unrepresented in Australia or in New Zealand. None of the other parties talk about looking after New Zealanders. They talk about looking after New Zealand."

The party's main election policy is fairer rules for New Zealanders to become Australian permanent residents. New Zealanders working in Australia pay taxes but have no access to the dole and only limited access to healthcare.

Mr Cheesman said a law change in 2001 meant New Zealanders were no longer de facto permanent residents when they arrived in Australia.

"The main situation that tends to come up ... is when you have two Kiwi parents, and they have a child in Australia, then, for the first 10 years, that child has no safety net."

New Zealanders should be able to apply for permanent residency, including rights to full healthcare and the dole, after having lived there for five years, he said.

Tokoroa mother Megan Aspin lives on the Gold Coast and has limited government support to care for her 7-year-old son, Adam, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

She supported the goals of the Expat party, including fairer rules for New Zealanders to become permanent residents in Australia.

"Things over here are just getting worse, and the New Zealand Government is not doing anything about

- NZ Herald

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