Watch out New Zealand. Australia's most controversial politician, Pauline Hanson, is heading for your shores, although it will only be a stepping-stone on her way to Britain, where she plans to settle.

The former fish and chip shop owner turned far-right politician has announced that, after years of opposing immigration to Australia, she is about to become an immigrant herself.

She has lost faith in her home country, of which she says: "Sadly, the land of opportunity is no more applicable."

Hanson announced her plans in the Australian edition of Woman's Day magazine, which quotes "the iconic copper-haired Aussie battler" as saying:

"Australia will always be my home. But I love England and Ireland. My mother's family come from Limerick, and my father's from London. I love the culture."

Quite what the 55-year-old Queenslander will make of Britain, which is far more visibly multicultural than Australia, remains to be seen. On her way there, she intends to take a cruise, then spend "a few months" in the South Island, although she has not disclosed exactly where.

Hanson burst on to the political scene in 1996, when she won a federal seat for the Liberal Party. In her maiden speech, she called for cuts to Aboriginal welfare and warned that Australia was "in danger of being swamped by Asians".

Cut loose by the Liberals, she formed the One Nation party, which won a million votes in the 1998 state election. However, Hanson lost her seat, and her subsequent attempts to return to politics - most recently as an independent in last year's Queensland election - failed.

She told Woman's Day she had given up that particular ambition, adding: "Our governments lack enough people with the fortitude to speak up without fear or favour. Over-regulation, increasing taxes and lack of true representation are affecting our way of life."

Convicted of electoral fraud in 2003, she served 11 weeks in prison before her conviction was overturned.

Last year the Sydney Sunday Telegraph published semi-naked photographs of a woman it claimed was Hanson. It turned out not to be her, and she received an out-of-court settlement.

Now Hanson is selling her home, although she has not ruled out returning to Australia.