2001 Press Release from Philip Ruddock
Media Release, 26 February 2001 (MPS 020/2001) from the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
"The new arrangements have been introduced with the express purpose of implementing the new social security agreement and apply to all New Zealand citizens, regardless of place of birth. It provides a more equitable base for the free-flow of people between each country."
Comment: The new social security agreement was not even signed until April 2001, and did not come into effect until July 2002. It therefore seems to be untrue to claim that the new agreement required the removal of any rights from New Zealanders on the 26th February 2001. After reading the actual agreement, it seems that Mr. Ruddock lied.
Phil Goff preferred to use the term "horse shit" to describe such claims in this following excerpt from the Dominion Post published on Saturday October 6th 2012:
At the time the Australian government called them part of a bilateral agreement with New Zealand that would put treatment of Kiwis in line with other migrants.
Labour MP Phil Goff was foreign affairs minister at the time and said New Zealand was never a willing partner to the changes.‘‘That is all horse shit. It was never about treating New Zealanders fairly.’’
The changes arose because they thought New Zealand should pay more to support their expats in Australia, he said.
The Australian government was also concerned that Pacific Islanders and Hong Kong Chinese were gaining New Zealand citizenship to sneak into Australia.
Before the changes, Australia was pushing New Zealand to toughen immigration rules and pay more, but New Zealand refused on both counts. Mr Goff said the spat over money and fears over ‘‘backdoor immigration’’ were what drove restrictions in 2001 and they now needed to be re-examined.
In other words, the 2001 changes were really due to a failure to extract money from NZ, and as a result of racially motivated fears.
Australian Parliament 2006 - QUESTIONS ON NOTICE:
Mr Murphy asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, in writing,on 1 June 2006:
(8) Did the Minister say on 26 February 2001 that new arrangements relating to New Zealand citizens, including citizenship eligibility, had been introduced with the express purpose of implementing a new social security agreement between Australia and New Zealand.
(9) Can the Minister confirm that changes to Australian citizenship eligibility for New Zealand Special Category Visa holders who were long-term residents and taxpayers in Australia, but who were temporarily absent from Australia on 26 February 2001, were reasonably necessary to implement the bilateral social security agreement with New Zealand; if so, for what reason; if not, why not.
Australian Parliament - Reply to QUESTIONS ON NOTICE: Migration: Trans-Tasman: (Question No. 3604) From Ruddock, Philip, MP (10-10-2006)
(8) A media release from the Minister of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs dated 26 February 2001 stated in part:
“The new arrangements have been introduced with the express purpose of implementing the new social security agreement and apply to all New Zealand citizens, regardless of place of birth. It provides a more equitable base for the free flow of people between each country.”
(9) Yes. The new Instrument issued under the [Citizenship] Act, which gave effect to the requirement that New Zealand citizens entering Australia under those new arrangements are not treated as permanent residents for citizenship purposes, was required to support the new bilateral social security arrangements
Comment: The new social security agreement does not even mention citizenship eligibility. Therefore, it seems that Mr. Ruddock lied to Parliament whilst he was the Attorney-General. One would normally expect the Attorney-General to be truthful, but this is Australia, after all.