Little Little success in Australia

Andrew Little’s and Phil Goff’s trip to Australia to lobby for New Zealand ex-pats and detainees seems to have had little success. This isn’t surprising.

NZ Herald reports: Australia won’t budge on deportations

Australia won’t budge on deportations and shows little appetite to examine support for Kiwi expats – but Labour senses softer ground among politicians from both major parties.

Labour leader Andrew Little and MP Phil Goff have completed a day of lobbying in Canberra after meeting Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Opposition leader Bill Shorten.

They received little encouragement from Mr Dutton, except for a promise to look at any individual deportation cases raised by Labour.

“There wasn’t a eureka moment where he said, ‘Oh no, I’ve got it all wrong, but it was useful to have the opportunity to put the case and put the arguments,” said Mr Little, who will tomorrow visit Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

The visit of New Zealand’s Opposition leader went largely under the Canberra radar. He entered Parliament in the early morning heat past a pack of local reporters with no question asked, and there was only minor interest from Australian media outlets.

However, Mr Little said that there was a broad acceptance from Liberal and Labor members of two committees he presented to that there was some unfairness in the way the rules were applied.

This may have been a reality check for Little in one of his first dabbles in international lobbying, and Australia will be relatively easy.

Leaders of opposition parties can do little at home so will achieve little abroad except perhaps build relationships and experience.

Why did Little take Goff with him? Goff is off next year if he wins the Auckland mayoralty.

Little may have felt he needed experience alongside him on his Australian foray, but surely Labour should be looking at building expertise for the future.

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  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  26th November 2015

    Little,desperate for some publicity. Goff there to limit the damage if he does.

  2. Joe Bloggs

     /  26th November 2015

    Little’s trip wasn’t a complete lost cause. After all he provoked Aussie Senator Ian McDonald into issuing an invitation for New Zealand to become the 7th and 8th states of Australia…

    Not much kudos for Andrew in that win…

  3. Talk on RNZ this morning is to the effect, “We must make it easier and cheaper for Kiwis to become Australian citizens” and for Kiwis to have access to the social services scheme they pay tax into. Doesn’t seem unfair to me. Little appears to have generated some of this. Anyhow, I reckon little success in a good cause is some success. Incidently, I am not, I repeat NOT a Labour Party member or particular supporter of theirs.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  26th November 2015

      Talk on NZ Lefty radio is just talk. When it becomes talk on Aussie radio it moght mean something.

    • PnZ now you’re living up to your username…. the Key government has been working on better access and clean paths to citizenship for quite sometime, trying to repair what Auntie Helen gave away so easily. Thankfully Little didn’t go full retard and damage the relationship.

      • “Gave away”? A quick look at Wiki and TeAra, not one mention of Helen Clark.
        Got any evidence? (I’ll change my mind if there’s evidence)
        The Hawke, Keating and Howard governments progressively “took” away agreed TTTA privileges it seems. Key discussed easier pathways with Gillard in 2011.
        I wonder if he reiterated it with any of the other pop-up PMs in the shooting gallery?
        Yeah, yeah … I said I chose the pseudonym carefully. Willing to venture a naive opinion, along with my informed opinions, unlike some who believe one must be an expert to do so. Where would “consultation processes” be if that was always the case?
        Yet these non-opinions are in fact mostly opinions in themselves, or sometimes just insults.
        Trade ya … insults at however many kilometers.
        I guess talkback is the only radio, right? Radio Righty, “Feed the Beast”.

        • Did Helen protest when Aussie tighten everything up and introduced the SCV visa’s? No it was swept quietly under the mat…

          “Since 2001, Kiwi new arrivals have been classified as “non-protected” SCV holders. Unlike all other permanent residents, they are not entitled to unemployment benefit, student loans and, depending on the state, disability and maternity support, social housing or transport concessions. This is because, technically, these Kiwis are only “temporarily” residing in Australia even if some of them have lived there since their were toddlers” Stuff 1 Oct 2015…..

          And what is the TTTA? Trans Tasman Travel Arrangement? Which is not a formal agreement but a mere mention in a communique when the Oz and NZ PM’s meet back in the early 70’s….. i.e. there is no formal treaty is a mates agreement….

          Note: On Nat Radio I have heard [Nine to Noon Politics segment in the last 2-3 weeks] the reason why nothing was done in 2001 was the Aussies wanted NZ to carry some of the costs of reciprocal access to services, but it would have meant around 1 billion p.a. being paid by NZ to Aussie for NZ citizens in Aussie to access to the services they can’t get now… NZ Treasury looked at it and advise not to enter into that sort of arrange as they believe NZ citizens in Aussie where paying more than enough in taxes ….

          “The 26 February 2001 joint announcement
          of the Australian and New Zealand
          Governments represents a further sharp
          contraction of these privileges.

          The official rhetoric is that the motive was solely
          to limit Australia’s responsibilities for
          paying Social Security benefits to New
          Zealand citizens who move to Australia
          in the future. This article shows that there
          were other important motives involved,
          notably the Australian Government’s
          desire to limit the influx of people who
          would not meet the standards set by the
          official migration program.1
          Whether the
          new rules will actually achieve this goal
          is also explored.
          The 2001 announcement discriminates
          between different types of New Zealand
          citizens — those who fit the Australian
          Migration Program criteria and those who
          do not. New Zealand citizens who apply
          and meet these criteria will be regarded
          as permanent residents and hence entitled
          to welfare benefits (after meeting the
          two-year waiting period). Those who do
          not, yet still come to Australia after 26
          February 2001, will be consigned to the
          enduring status of a kind of ‘indefinite
          temporary’ resident — entitled to work in
          Australia but not to claim social welfare
          benefits. However, if they reside in
          Australia for ten years, there is a special
          contingency of a once-only resort to
          Newstart, Youth Allowance and Sickness
          Allowance for six months. This provision
          will not operate until at least 26 February
          2011.2″ …………”Winners and losers
          The Australian Government is a clear
          winner in that it has achieved effective
          ‘harmonisation’ of immigrant selection
          rules with New Zealand by n ot allowing
          New Zealand citizens who fail to meet
          Australian selection standards to become
          permanent residents of Australia.
          New Zealand citizens are the emphatic
          losers because they have lost the privilege
          of enjoying many of the benefits of
          Australian residence whenever it suits
          them to move to Australia. The
          Australian Government was mainly
          concerned about third-country migrants,
          but the new rules affect all New Zealand
          Source Monash University research note “NEW ZEALANDERS IN AUSTRALIA: THE END OF AN ERA?”

          So I stand by my statement that Helen Clarkes government signed away a lot of the rights we previously enjoyed… Monash sets out why the Aussies took their position….

          • Okay, adds information. Thanks. Seems rather reliant on 2 assumptions to me
            1. That protest and negotiations did not occur behind the scenes rather than in the public eye. I’ve heard it suggested on here that this is the appropriate place for the current immigration issues to be dealt with.
            2. That Clarke’s or any other government could (necessarily) have actually prevented the Australians doing what they intended. Current events lends weight to the contention we cannot prevent them, does it not? In the future John Key might be accused of similar impotence?
            I agree with insider below.
            Sure you don’t just want to have a dig at Helen Clarke? Heaven forbid she might become the first female Secretary General of the United Nations?

            • PnZ if I could be bothered I would search for the treasury papers/recommendations about paying for the welfare of Kiwis in Aussie.

              My contention is Clark signed it away. i have given sources as you contended they didn’t.

              Negotiation on these matters are best done behind closed doors not by grandstanding as Little and Goff have just tried to do. They had zero chance of achieving anything and a decent chance of aggravating the situation. Goff knows the history he was in cabinet when the more generous and open relationship was signed away.

              In terms of could the then CLark government retained the status quo… everything I have heard in commentary is yes they could have if they had been prepared to pay the benefits of those Kiwis not working in Aussie.

              A dig at Helen? Not personally but on this issue yes – especially when Labour now dig at the NAts and imply its all their fault…

              As for Helen as first female Sec-Gen….suspect she is a long shot as Eastern Europe is due to provide the Sec Gen. She would probably do a good job administratively as she is organised and ruthless. Her politics are not something I support though

          • DaveG

             /  27th November 2015

            Long comment Dave1924. I have lived in Aussie since the mid 90’s and became a citizen in the late 90’s. Getting citizenship at that time was easy, a few forms, a few hundred dollars, a few references and a few weeks for them to process and approve. But, we were skilled migrants, had good jobs and good health, and had engaged with the community. I watched the situation unfold like a great train wreck. There was a plane load of Kiwis arriving to QLD every day, and a lot of them were going straight on to welfare, having honed their skills in Aoteroa. I’m told the term a hundy a day was used in Centrelink QLD to describe the kiwis applying for welfare every day. (Centrelink is the kiwi equivalent of WINZ).

            Howard and his officials had sought undertakings from Clarks government, but as you say, Clark and her government refused.

            If only the increadibly intelligent and skilled media bothered to look further than last week.

  4. Ray

     /  26th November 2015

    And of course no mention that it was the sainted Miss Clark who dropped us into this mess

    • insider

       /  26th November 2015

      Clark did nothing of the sort. Australia is a sovereign nation. They can set their immigration policy however they want. They were threatening to cut off NZ immigration almost completely. She got the best deal possible.

      • DaveG

         /  27th November 2015

        @insider. Rubbish. Clark was a master socialist, she could have came to an arrangement with the Australian Government, she didn’t, she cut the kiwis living in Aussies off and sold them down the drain. She had known for years the costs being born by the Aussies by her second class bludging constituents, and what an opportunity to keep them in NZ. And don’t forget, this has been an issue since 2001, some amendments have been made, but in the time of the National Key lead government, labour achieved nothing from 2001 to 2008 in regards to Kiwis living in OZ.

        • I concede there may be an element of truth in what you say.
          I acknowledge your personal experience.
          What you might have seen was a period of time when there was increasing unemployment in NZ, resulting in more immigration across the ditch and an oversupply of NZ migrants for the available work in Australia? Given the circumstances back then, if you didn’t need to arrange a job beforehand, and were allowed to apply for the dole, it seems reasonable to apply for the dole on arrival until you find a job. People do what they are allowed to do.
          How many of “her second class bludging constituents” (dear me old chap!) went on to find work? How long did it take if they did? Of all those who found work, what was the average time spent on the dole? Etc etc.
          No need to call the woman a “socialist” though! That old silver bullet.
          And, sorry to say this, but by your own logic, if she cut off Kiwis living in Oz and Kiwis living in Oz were “a hundy a day” second-class bludgers, what’s the problem?
          By your own standards, hasn’t she actually done you a service, a good thing?

          • DaveG

             /  27th November 2015

            Good reply, but who did she do the service too, those left in NZ whilst selling ALL kiwis in Aussie down the drain and knowingly. It is very ironic then, that now Angry Andy, Davis and Goff now complain and were laughed out of Aussie. But let’s look deeper, a lot of Kiwis arrived in Aussie over the 90’s, myself included, but I went over to a job, and had a rental home within days, and had purchased a hom within 6 months, plus we had sufficient funds to support ourselves for years if necessary. In contrast, the kiwi bludgers I refer to were often planning to live with Whanau on the Gold Coast and often went over on a wing and a prayer with almost no funds, no job, and no skills or prospects. Some suburbs in the south of Brisbane are still heavily populated by Maori and PI, an employee of ours lived there and describes kiwis as lazy violent drunks! He is slowly accepting not all Kiwis are violent drunks. These are the types that (largely) caused the problems. If you look at the data on migration, since 2001, the numbers (ratio) of unskilled migrants has seriously dropped, unfortunately this reflects far fewer PI and Maori are moving since 2001, or move over only to move back when going gets tough a few months later.

          • So, since I’m back here after 4 hours sleep, here’s my quasi-intellectual response: Yours is what I’d call a differential argument, not without some veracity, but largely rhetorical. Not all Kiwis in Oz required the social services, only the Maori & PI bludgers, therefore, Clarke performed the same beneficial service for you, the skilled, working (presumably Pakeha) Kiwi, as outlined before?
            The implication by omission is these migrant “bludgers” created the very demand for workers which they themselves then answered? I was a teenager in Auckland when our thriving manufacturing industries – one of which my dad owned and I worked at part-time – having exhausted Maori urban drift, created such demand for labour we turned to Pacific Islanders to fill it. This ready labour pool was good news and hence not news at all until, notwithstanding “overstayers” (another whole topic), the demand for labour declined and these self-same people became ‘social problems’. Damned if this isn’t virtually a law of nature “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”.
            And what’s behind all this?
            Well, I put it to you what’s behind it is “supply and demand”?

  5. Goff was there to do introductions. Given his 30 plus years of troughing and service in the Clark government he would know a lot of people in Canberra

    Thankfully no damage appears to have been done. Pushing for better rights for Kiwis in Aussie is something best done quietly and away from Aussie tabloid media’s eyes in my view

    • kittycatkin

       /  26th November 2015

      I don’t believe that being a politician is the trough that you imagine. The hours that they put in are very long indeed, and quite a few donate their pay to charity as legally they cannot refuse to take it. The days when MPs were not paid in the UK were the days when corruption was rife, as when the railways were being made. If you followed a politician around for a week, you would sing a different song. I have been in a car with a minister who HAD to be driven because his phone was going non-stop, one call after another, all work-related.This was on what was supposedly his time off, too, so goodness knows what it’s like when he’s at work.

      • Same can be said for many professions Kitty. But my view of Phil Goff doesn’t change.

      • DaveG

         /  27th November 2015

        Ah, Kitty, I offer the Drake, one Mr Mallard, hours worked ???? Probably averages less than 20 hours a week including time on TradeMe selling gifts and tickets to concerts! Let’s not forget the opposition have NO real responsibility, and can’t make any decisions of behalf of the country.

  6. kittycatkin

     /  26th November 2015

    Everyone I know seems to be saying more or less the same thing; they agree with the deportation but not the treatment of the deported.

    • DaveG

       /  27th November 2015

      If you listen to Angry Andy and Kelvin Davis, they will tell you they are badly treated. They were not. The Aussies are far tougher on criminals here that the kiwis are. But the detainees scheduled for departure are held in fairly nice conditions. I know several of the security people on Christmas and Narau Islands, and it’s said detainees are well treated. The facilities on Christmas islands have gyms, pool and table tennis, full size tennis courts, most have swimming pools, they are Air conditioned, have Comms room where residents get internet access and phones, full commercial kitchens, and as low security units, guests are mainly free to roam during the day and confined to zones or accomodation at night. Should they misbehave, these privileges are whittled down, until they can prove they will behave. Let’s not forget they are only in detention until they agree to return to NZ.

  7. Timoti

     /  26th November 2015

    Extra, Extra, nothing to read about. Goff and Angry Andy got their toothbrushes mixed up.


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