Kiwi actor Russell Crowe has been rejected for Australian citizenship because of an immigration hitch.
Crowe had been out of Australia for 12 months of the preceding two years when the Australian Government changed the law in 2001, making him ineligible for permanent citizenship, News.com.au reported.
He had been out of the country making and promoting Gladiator, for which he won an Academy Award, and A Beautiful Mind, for which he was nominated for the best actor Oscar in the following year.
Crowe intended to become an Australian citizen at a 2006 Australia Day ceremony, but the ceremony was cancelled at the last minute.
A spokeswoman from Channel 10, which was to broadcast the ceremony, said "the government wasn't able to facilitate the process in time".
Crowe still has not been able to satisfy the protocols that would make him eligible for citizenship, seven years on from the ceremony.
"It's a very complicated situation," said Crowe, who came to Australia in 1968.
"This is the country I choose to live in, in which I spent my formative years, so it's kind of frustrating.
"But I am not the only person in that boat. There's a whole bunch of New Zealanders who have committed to a life here, who have had children here, who bought their first houses here, who have been productive, taxpaying members of society.
"I know why the rules are in place and I understand and respect that, but there has to be some form of arbitration where you can state your case. These rules are not big enough to engage with the complexity of people's lives."
Oz Kiwi 2001, a campaign raising awareness of issues faced by New Zealanders living in Australia who are refused access to citizenship, has over 12,000 signatures on a petition, and over 9,000 likes on Facebook.
- © Fairfax NZ News