Australian Prime Minister arrives in NZ

Malcolm Turnbull, the new Australian Prime Minister, arrived in New Zealand today. He spent two hours in a meeting with our Prime Minister, John Key.

One issue discussed was the number of New Zealanders being deported from Australia. Australia has recently passed a law which says that anyone who is not an Australian citizen and who has spent more than 12 months in prison in Australia, should be sent back to their own country.

However, many of these people have lived most of their lives in Australia but did not become citizens. Some of them came with their parents when they were young children. Some of the children have grown up in Australia and gone to school in Australia. Some have married an Australian and have children. However, they are still New Zealanders and will be deported from Australia.

New Zealand and Australia have always had a close relationship – no visa is necessary for New Zealanders to enter Australia or to stay there. This is a reciprocal arrangement – Australians are welcome to work and live here.

Mr Turnbull said today that Australia cannot treat New Zealanders differently from other foreigners who will be deported. However, he did say that some people can appeal and each case would be looked at with compassion.

One other matter discussed by the two prime ministers was student loans. Australians living in New Zealand are eligible for a loan to study at university or other tertiary institution; Mr Turnbull said today that any New Zealand children who have spent the last 10 years in Australia will be eligible for a student loan.

Vocabulary

• deport – sent back to their own country
• reciprocal – we do the same
• appeal – go to court
• compassion – sympathy
• eligible – have the right qualifications or requirements
• tertiary – 3rd level (after secondary school)






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