I totally disagree with anyone seeing any negatives in Australia’s immigration announcement at the weekend, this is one of the most positive and significant changes for New Zealand in the ANZAC relationship.
I don’t believe it’s going to lead to a significant brain drain, that brain drain’s already happening.
Kiwis have already been moving to Australia regardless of the fact that they couldn’t get citizenship until now, I don’t think this is going to shift the needle much for people.
Think about how many Kiwis you personally know who live there without citizenship.
For me, two cousins. For my husband, two daughters. All of them moved there even though the citizenship rules were awful.
The difference this change is going to make for New Zealand though is that we’re not going to be carrying the can when things go wrong for Kiwis over there.
So what’s been happening is that those Kiwis haven’t qualified for the dole, or disability cover when they can’t work or student loans.
So if they lost their jobs or couldn’t work or the kids needed to study, where do they go?
Here. So we were paying the bills without getting any of their taxes.
So all in all, this works out better for us. Because they were always going to leave New Zealand, it’s just that they won’t come running back to New Zealand for us to pay their bills when the going gets tough.
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What we do next is up to us. Because as I said, the brain drain is happening.
We have to figure out a way to replace these bright Kiwis leaving our shores by attracting other bright people to replace them.
But as for the Aussie/NZ relationship? Good on the Aussies for finally doing the decent thing by all Kiwis, the ones there and the ones here paying the bills.
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