Russell Crowe has been called on to support a push for Kiwi expats to get fairer treatment in Australia.
The Hollywood star has been asked to add his weight to a campaign for New Zealanders living across the ditch to take legal action to have federal laws nullified as discriminatory.
Rights campaigner David Faulkner of Sydney says it's time to switch from lobbying politicians to fighting in court and called on the Gladiator star to back the push for fairer citizenship laws.
Crowe spoke up earlier this month in an interview with the Huffington Post, describing the federal government's position on expatriate New Zealanders as unfair.
The Wellington-born actor described his own situation as "very odd" given his face appears on a postage stamp in Australia despite not having citizenship in the country he's called home for most of his life.
"The reason that I talk about it, is not because I couldn't do, you know, a nudge-nudge, wink-wink deal," Crowe told the Huffington Post.
"I'm just not that guy, because it's unfair. It's an unfair situation that burdens ... 250,000 New Zealanders who have made a life in Australia.
"And that's why I bring it up. Because sooner or later, somebody will come along and say, 'This is actually completely unfair and we need to change it', but if I do the nudge-nudge, wink-wink, then I'm bailing on 250,000 other people."
Faulkner seized on that, posting online a quote from Crowe and picture of him as Maximus in the Oscar-winning movie Gladiator, to gauge interest in a class action.
"We had an overwhelming response of more than 500 individuals, in an evening, saying that they would be willing to join in," said Faulkner.
Faulkner has helped with several successful court challenges over laws that denied individual expats the benefits other taxpayers and many other migrants receive.
He has spoken with leading class action law firm Maurice Blackburn. The firm would not comment.
Faulkner concedes it would be an uphill battle but there is a precedent in the famous Mabo land decision for grassroots action to nullify unfair laws. He hopes it is a cause that Crowe would consider supporting.
"He's given his tacit support to the 250,000 Kiwis here who are affected by the citizenship law. What would be wonderful is that he actually came on board and gave his full support by joining in an action.
"We expect the Australian government to fight this tooth and nail all the way to the High Court. They will put their absolute best lawyers on the case. This is going after Australian citizenship law and they will absolutely defend it to the hilt."
Last year's re-election of a hard-line coalition government devastated expat lobbyists.
The leading group, Oz Kiwi, has gone on the backburner.
"Our small team of volunteers are burnt out after six years of advocating for New Zealanders' rights in Australia," the group said at the time.
Its spokesperson Joanne Cox said her group favoured "quiet diplomacy" but won't dissuade others from going to court.
"It's completely up to people if they want to join a class action and if they manage to actually have a decision in their favour that makes the Australian government reverse at least some of the matters, for example, access to student loans, that would be fantastic," said Cox.
"But we really need to reverse the actual status of the special category visa New Zealanders get."
Oz Kiwi approached Crowe about weighing in on the expat cause five or six years ago, but did not hear back, she said.