We would like to extend a very special thank you to Hone Harawira, leader of the Mana Party for taking the time and effort to send an open letter to all members of the Australian Parliament on all our behalf. We would also like to acknowledge and thank MP Jim Chalmers for taking the time to respond in detail.
Jim Chalmers is the Federal Member of Rankin, QLD which has one of the largest constituencies of New Zealanders.
Attached is a response letter by the Federal Member for Rankin, Jim Chalmers MP. We have asked and been given permission by Hone to share his letter.
Upon reading Jim Chalmer's response letter we felt it was a positive and he seems to show a genuine concern and regard for his substantially large NZ constituency. We have held great concerns ourselves about the Special Category Visa also due to the legalities that it holds - A Temporary Visa.
The question is will all SCV holders be eventually categorised as one subgroup with no more divisions of protected and non protected removing the permanent status of those who have been here since or after September 1994?
Our fear has always been that legally, the Australian Government could change it's mind retrospectively and if they are looking to save money 'legally' they have the ways and means to do it right here. Mr Abbott knows exactly what he is doing by introducing his new bill back in February 2014 that will for the first time ever retrospectively exclude New Zealanders dating back as far as 1994, despite possibly living in Australia for up to 20 years. As MP Chalmers states, if passed this will set a very worrying precedent.
We strongly recommend that all New Zealanders who arrived pre 2001 (and are eligible) apply for citizenship at their earliest convenience to ensure they do not become ensnared by any loopholes further down the track, not to mention start supporting your local members by voting for them! That's the best way you can say thank you to the politicians that are out there truly representing the needs and cries of the people.
March 17, 2014
My third concern with the legislation before the House today is the large number of people across Australia who have been excluded by the design of the jobs commitment bonus program—many of them in my community. The new section 861(12) of the Social Security Act would amend the definition of Australian resident to explicitly exclude special category visa holders for the purpose of the bonus. This means that New Zealanders arriving in Australia before 2001 on protected visas who are currently eligible for Centrelink payments have been explicitly excluded in this program. This, to my knowledge, is the first time in the Social Security Act that protected special category visa holders have been explicitly excluded. In my electorate of Rankin, we have a large population of people who may be affected by this change, and I am worried by the precedent that this legislation would set.
Watch Youtube Video of his speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmdglku8dks