Australian overseas travel ban prevents Kiwis from returning home

By Bronson Perich

Australia’s Covid-19 travel ban means Kiwis cannot return home.

The Australian federal health website states that anyone wanting to leave Australia must apply for an exemption.

Former immigration minister Tuariki Delamere and TOP Auckland Central candidate says that affects the rights of dual New Zealand/Australia citizens as they have a right to enter either country.

He says that if someone with dual citizenship is in Australia, then the rules for Australians apply to that person over their rights as a Kiwi.

Delamere wants newly appointed Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi to help Kiwis return home. He says whānau will be affected by this travel ban.

“I note that this ban also applies to anyone, not just partners of New Zealand citizens," Delamere says.

“But the partnership issue is perhaps more compelling because it can break up families.”

Inheriting an enormous workload

The Pacific Leadership Forum delegation present their 'Be Kind to Overstayers' petition - Source / Provided

Faafoi’s office has been contacted for comment. On top of his broadcasting portfolio, Faafoi inherits a backlog of 15,000 skill migrant residency applications, and a petition calling the government to "be kind to overstayers". The specific kindness being sought is a legal pathway for overstayers to become residents.

Signed by 35,730 New Zealanders online and in person, the petition was presented to Labour list MP Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki on Tuesday.

Government estimates put national overstayer numbers at 13,895 in 2017. Almost half of that number, are believed to be from Tonga, Samoa, China and India.