20 November 2009

Australian MP calls for cap on New Zealand immigrants

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A Melbourne politician has made calls to cap the number of New Zealander coming to Australia to live.

Labor Government MP Kelvin Thomson told a Melbourne newspaper that the number of New Zealanders emigrating to Australia has made it impossible to control migrant numbers and maintain quality of life.

Since 1973, Australia and New Zealand have held a Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement that allows the free movement of citizens of one national to the other  without the need for an Australia visa or vice versa.

New Zealand passport holders are allowed to live and work in Australia, unrestricted from Australian immigration regulations.

Officials in New Zealand and Australia have dismissed Mr Thomson’s views on a cap on New Zealanders.  

A spokesman for Australian Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Evans said: "Kelvin Thomson's views are his own and are not a reflection of Australian Government policy."

A spokeswoman for New Zealand Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said there had been no discussions with his Australian counterpart about any proposal to limit movement between the two countries, and that it was not something that the government was taking seriously.

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