New Zealanders living in Australia are crying foul after newspaper
reports on Kiwi expats suggested that many recent arrivals are "layabouts"
who have come to Australia in search of benefit handouts. The reports
also claimed that New Zealand was serving as a "backdoor" to Australia
for migrants from Asian and Pacific nations.
The number of New Zealanders living in Australia has increased by 40
percent since the start of the financial crisis in 2007, although
figures released in 2013 show that New Zealand's yearly net loss to
Australia is now in decline and is at its lowest level since 2009.
New Zealanders have the right to reside in Australia indefinitely,
but are ineligible for unemployment benefit unless they have lived in
Australia for at least ten years, and even then there is a six-month
Campaigners complain that it is unfair that the restriction exists
even in cases where New Zealanders have paid tax, and there are claims
that some New Zealanders are currently living in hardship.
David Faulkner, who runs the OzKiwi website, condemned the
articles as "unlawful racial vilification" based on "deceptively
presented and ill-interpreted statistics." Citing Government figures,
Faulker said that New Zealand-born residents of Australia actually
have a higher rate of workforce participation compared with those born
in Australia. OzKiwi adds that the largest number of foreign-born New
Zealanders living in Australia are actually originally from Britain.
Faulkner is gathering signatures for a class action against News
Corp, which ran the stories in its newspapers. He argues that the
reports breach Australia's Racial Discrimination Act.
Tags: Australia | New Zealand | Expats | Working Abroad | Welfare | Work | Working Abroad | Working Abroad