READER REPORT:

Life in Aussie: Is it fair?

CHRIS RIVERS
Last updated 05:00 08/12/2013

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There is no doubt New Zealanders are second class citizens in Australia, unless we take out citizenship.

I am not sure what the costs of this are for everybody but my personal experience included a fee of $2300 plus medicals, X-rays and a few other sundry items. I think I had to spend about $3500 and this would have covered dependent children if I had any.

You must apply for a permanent resident's visa, which does not qualify you for anything other than what you get as a Kiwi residing in Australia. But after four years you can apply for citizenship (in my case about $130) and then it is all done. You need to get an Aussie passport because you have to exit and arrive in Australia on your Aussie passport.

Is it fair? The system is stacked against New Zealanders because we pay regular taxes and make all normal societal contributions except we cannot vote (which I think is absolutely undemocratic, not being entitled to a say in the community you live in, support, and pay for), cannot collect any social benefits (including those for our children even if they were born in Australia to Kiwi parents).

As you age you do get seniors discounts, free car registration, and cheap public transport.

I cannot say if it is better here because I am married to an Australian and so I am here by choice, not for the money.

I am brassed off, however, that there is no recognition for residency prior to February 1, 2001 (thank you Helen Clark for agreeing to such conditions for New Zealanders living in Australia) and as a consequence private medical insurance becomes very, very expensive. 


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