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Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee says he’s had productive discussions with lobby group OzKiwi today about the concerns some New Zealanders living in Australia have.

“We discussed a range of issues affecting New Zealanders in Australia and reassured them that the National Government is interested in their concerns and take them seriously,” Mr Brownlee says.

“When I met with my Australian counterpart Julie Bishop in May, we agreed to consult more closely on domestic policies that affect our respective citizens.

“Australia has made decisions to recognise the special status of New Zealanders in Australia by establishing a pathway to citizenship.

“The trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement gives New Zealanders the greatest access of citizens of any country to visit, live, and work in Australia, and the same applies for Australians in New Zealand.

“While both countries allow this freedom of movement, each retains the right to determine requirements for permanent residency, citizenship, social security, and access to social support.

“New Zealanders should understand that New Zealand and Australia are separate countries and the rights and entitlements they enjoy at home do not necessarily translate to Australia.

“I agree with OzKiwi that New Zealanders who have lived in Australia for a long time, or intend to do so, should consider dual citizenship and investigate the pathway the Australian government has opened.

“Taking this action does not, in any way, diminish their citizenship at home in New Zealand,” Mr Brownlee says.

Notes to editors:

New Zealand pathway to Australian citizenship

The New Zealand government has welcomed progress made by Australia towards opening the pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders on 1 July. This is the most significant policy development for New Zealanders in Australia since 2001, offering the majority of long-term residents on non-protected special category visas an opportunity to secure their future.

Prime Minister Turnbull has clarified the pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders will be unaffected by the proposed extension of the waiting time on a permanent residency visa for citizenship applicants.

Tertiary Education Fees

Legislation and regulations for the proposed Australian tertiary education reforms are still being drafted. The New Zealand government will continue to make representations about the material impact of the reforms on affected students, but as previously stated, a full policy reversal is unlikely.

Capital Gains Tax

The Australian government has clarified that New Zealanders living in Australia will continue to be able to claim an exemption from capital gains tax for the sale of their main residence.

State Budgets: Housing

We are aware of proposed changes in the New South Wales budget which would increase the stamp duty and annual land tax surcharge on foreign buyers. The surcharge policy was introduced in last year’s budget. At that time, it was confirmed the policy would only affect New Zealanders and permanent residents who have not been living in Australia for 200 days in the past 12 months.

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