"Over the past few weeks I have been working with Erina Anderson and Iwi n Aus to help Kiwis overcome the prejudice of Australian legislation. Those efforts have culminated in my writing an Open letter to every MP in the Parliament of Australia including PM Tony Abbott." Hone Harawira
EQUAL TREATMENT … ON BOTH SIDES OF THE DITCH
An open letter to every MP in the Parliament of Australia
From Hone Harawira, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau, Aotearoa (NZ)
Wed 12 March 2014
Tena koutou katoa (greetings to you all)
I would like to address the grave situation facing New Zealanders living in Australia, created by the Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (New Zealand Citizens) Act 2001 and the Australian Citizenship (Permanent Resident Status - New Zealand Citizens) Declaration 2001.
Those two laws meant New Zealanders and their children moving to Australia after 26 February 2001 have had their access to Australian social security assistance and other rights afforded them previously, severely restricted.
That effectively ended fair pathways for New Zealanders to residency, citizenship, the right to vote, medical treatment, and severely limited their ability to participate in mainstream Australian life - in direct contrast to the treatment that all Australian citizens receive while living in New Zealand.
I know that many people have tried to raise this matter with your government but to no avail.
As you well know, New Zealand and Australia have strong historical bonds dating back to colonial times, reinforced by sporting, cultural and trade relationships, and of course by ANZAC itself, and yet that shared and reciprocal history has been brought to an abrupt end, without full consultation between governments, and without consultation with those most affected – New Zealanders living and working in Australia.
I suspect most Australians are not really aware of the oppressive impact of these law changes, and I know from talking to many of them, that they are genuinely dismayed at how badly New Zealanders are being treated by these laws.
The evidence that I have seen suggests that New Zealanders are genuinely suffering from these law changes as they face difficulties at work and at home, and find that there is no help for them from government agencies. That suffering has over the past 10 years shown itself through increased work place accidents, homelessness, hunger, mental health issues, helplessness, frustration, isolation and abandonment, relationship breakdowns, domestic violence, poor health, stress and even suicide.
I recognise Australia’s sovereign right to determine its own pathway forward, but I call on each of you to also recognise the right of Australians living in New Zealand and New Zealanders living in Australia to enjoy the same measure of security and support, in both countries.
In all fairness, I ask that you propose and/or support a parliamentary inquiry into the effects of the Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (New Zealand Citizens) Act 2001 and the Australian Citizenship (Permanent Resident Status - New Zealand Citizens) Declaration 2001 on New Zealanders living in Australia, with a view to re-establishing the equity that both populations should rightfully enjoy in either country.
heoi ano ra
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
• Get in touch with Erina Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• She runs Iwi n Aus to fight for you. She needs a hand… yours!
• Email a short CV and offer to help;
• Like, share and follow the Iwi n Aus facebook pages;
• Check out links on www.iwinaus.org;
• Sign the petition calling on the NZ Prime Minister to take action to defend Kiwis being harmed by Australian legislation, athttps://www.change.org/petitions/iwinaus
• Ask your State and Federal MPs for their support;
• Email me at email@example.com or check out www.mana.net.nz for any help you think MANA can give you
MP, Te Tai Tokerau
New Zealand House of Representatives
Aotearoa / NZ