Anthony Albanese says New Zealanders might be allowed to vote in Australian elections, after meeting Jacinda Ardern – ABC News

Anthony Albanese says New Zealanders might be allowed to vote in Australian elections, after meeting Jacinda Ardern
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New Zealanders who have lived in Australia for a long time could be given the right to vote in Australian elections, under potential changes flagged by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Mr Albanese will ask federal parliament's elections committee to consider what changes could be made to extend voting rights to some New Zealanders.
New Zealand already grants voting rights to Australians living in New Zealand if they have been there for a year or more.
But that right is not reciprocated, except for a small number of New Zealanders who enrolled to vote as "British subjects" prior to 1984.
Mr Albanese said there might be scope to change that.
"We'll be asking the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters to consider whether there's a way to return to systems that have existed in the past of giving New Zealand people who are here in Australia, contributing to society, paying taxes, working, voting rights here in Australia as well," he said.
"We won't pre-empt those processes. But it is, I think, a really common-sense position to at least examine over coming months."
As of the 2021 census, there were more than 530,000 people born in New Zealand living in Australia.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she asked Mr Albanese for "greater acknowledgement" of the contribution New Zealand expats were making to Australia.
The Australian Prime Minister has met with his New Zealand counterpart in Sydney to discuss how the two countries can better work together.
She said work is underway to create a dedicated path to Australian citizenship for New Zealanders, separate to the ordinary process.
"Our ask has been for there to be a greater acknowledgement of the role that New Zealanders play here in Australia," she said.
"The fact that we have an agreement that no New Zealander or Australian should be rendered 'permanently temporary', that is a change in the way that we've previously seen New Zealanders treated here."
It is expected firm proposals for change will be put together before Anzac Day next year.
The pair also discussed the sensitive issue of convicted criminals being deported in significant numbers to New Zealand.
In recent years, Australia has deported hundreds of New Zealand citizens found guilty of serious criminal offences, despite some holding few ties to the country.
It has been a source of tension between the two countries, and Mr Albanese said the government's approach to the issue will shift.
"We will continue to deport people when appropriate," he said.
"But we will have some common sense apply here.
"Where you have a circumstance where someone has lived their entire life, effectively, in Australia with no connection whatsoever to New Zealand, common sense should apply and we will act as friends."
Ms Ardern said that is the approach she wants to see taken.
"We acknowledge Australia will continue to deport, as New Zealand currently does have provision and does deport those who don't have a long-term connection to New Zealand," she said.
"What we have been seeking is common sense and the spirit of friendship.
"And that's what Prime Minister Albanese has spoken to today."
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