Some kiwis fight for Kiwis' rights in Australia

February 26, 2014
New Zealand News - Visareporter

According to some news reports, some New Zealanders who have migrated and settled in Australia have complaints, grievances, etc. about what they call as discriminatory laws. These laws sometimes even split families with some set of laws being applicable to some members of the family while another set of laws are applicable to some other set of members. Thus, those of an immigrant New Zealand family who were born in New Zealand are denied the benefits because they were not born in Australia, there are privileges granted to some other members of the same family born in Australia who are eligible for them since they were Australia-born. So, to highlight this kind of ‘discrimination’ and ‘discriminatory laws’, and some other discriminatory laws, regulations, rules, faced by New Zealanders, demonstrations are being held across the nation today, Wednesday, 26th February, to highlight the kiwis’ lack of rights, to the government’s attention, by an organization Iwi n Aus.
Put another way, the basic problem is that in Australia there are many Kiwi families that have different types of residency permits for different members of the same family, according to the Co-founder of Iwi n Aus (and Queensland team leader, Filipa Payne), an organization working to draw the attention of the government to these types of situations and paradoxes, which bring difficulties to families. Thus, one common situation, for example, is that the earlier born or the older/elder siblings have denied to them the rights that are granted to their younger siblings who happen to be born in Australia, and because they were born there. And, also, for example, immigrant New Zealanders who are still not yet Australian citizens are not eligible to receive funds/funding for natural disasters. And even more unfortunately, a lot many of them were not even aware of this rule/fact until after the floods occurred.

The organization is also campaigning and canvassing for better access to healthcare programs, more educational benefits, and better employment and voting rights for those who have migrated from New Zealand. Ms. Filipa Payne also added that their campaign may yield results only for the next generation. But, they would like to fight on and put an end to what they conceive to be discriminatory set of laws, rules, regulations and even negative stereotyping. The problems common to New Zealanders and which are sought to be highlighted by organizations such as Iwi n Aus are typical for these kinds of groups. But, going by an earlier statement of Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who had said that he expected the kiwis to be ‘lifters rather than leaners’, it appears, that the fight of organizations such as Iwi n Aus is going to be a long-drawn out one.      
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