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Roman Travers: Kiwis are off to Australia

Roman Travers,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Apr 2023, 7:15am
Photo / 123RF
Photo / 123RF

Roman Travers: Kiwis are off to Australia

Roman Travers,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Apr 2023, 7:15am

There's never been a more important time to introduce a stringent bonding policy to encourage qualified Kiwi's to remain in New Zealand. 

From July first this year, New Zealanders who've been on the Special Category Visa and who've lived in Australia for at least four years, will be able to gain Australian citizenship. 

The most ironic outcome from the new immigration policy announced for Australia last week, is that our very own prime minister has become an advocate for more of our highly qualified citizens to make the move across the Tasman.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is quoted as saying that it's a blimmin' good day for Kiwis living in Australia. 

You may blimmin' well be right Chris, but it doesn't take the leader of a country to realise that it's also not so blimmin' fantastic for people contemplating whether or not they’ll stay here. 

Perhaps he should've added to that sentence: dear Australia, please let us know if there's anything else we can do to make your lives easier, including not having to train any of the essential workers that we're also bereft of.

Australia's prime minister, Anthony Albanese must be ecstatic. You can only imagine what he would have said to his senior ministers over a Four X Lager later that day. Something like; crikey. That was easy. 

Our prime minister also says that it's something New Zealand governments have argued for, for a very long time and it's fair to say we've had a much more open door for these conversations over the past year. 

No kidding! The door into Australia isn't just wide open, it now has a great big hunk of eucalyptus wedged under it with a brand-new welcome mat at the entrance.  

Woven into the welcome mat are the words, thank you New Zealand. You couldn't have made it easier for us. 

Wouldn't it make sense to adopt the same policy here, so that those qualified doctors and nurses and other experts in their fields from around the world, can make New Zealand their home instead of being put off by the archaic and demonstrably slow process we currently have?

This new policy is indeed good news. But it's only good news for Australia and those New Zealanders who've been battling to call Australia home on a permanent basis.

I know it's not just our healthcare professionals that are choosing to call Australia home, but the numbers of doctors and nurses working in Australia that we trained here is confronting.

Already, 10% of the nurses working in Australia are New Zealand citizens. How high do you think that number will go under this new policy? 

I've lived and worked in Australia. Victoria is the most beautiful state and looking back, my quality of life was a great deal better over the ditch. But New Zealand will always be my home. 

I wonder how many New Zealanders will gladly make the move to Australia now that the process is so much easier?

Once you realise how much more you're paid for job equivalence, and once you become established, coming home is not always easy. 

It's as though the suction on Australia's immigration vacuum cleaner has just been turned up to maximum. 

But ironically, that immigration vacuum cleaner is plugged in and is paid for by New Zealand. 

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