Whangarei councillor resigns after finding she's not an NZ citizen

  • 06/09/2017
Whangarei councillor Jayne Golightly (file)
Jayne Golightly. Photo credit: File

Australia's citizenship woes have made their way across the ditch, claiming the job of a district councillor.

Whangarei councillor Jayne Golightly has been forced to resign after discovering she was not a New Zealand citizen.

The hairdresser was elected to represent the Denby Ward last October.

Whangarei District Council released a statement confirming Ms Golightly's resignation, adding that she had applied for citizenship and intends to recontest the role.

She arrived in New Zealand from Britain as an 18-month-old and told the NZ Herald while she travels on a UK passport, she never believed she wasn't a Kiwi citizen.

"My mother and father were granted citizenship in 2003, when I was on my OE in the UK," she said.

"I had absolutely no reason to ever question or suspect my lack of citizenship."

Ms Golightly has admitted the fault was hers entirely.

The Taxypayers Union's Garrick Wright-McNaughton said that excuse wasn't good enough.

"At best, Ms Golightly is incompetent for not bothering to check," he said,

"An apology isn't good enough, she needs to refund her taxpayer funded salary that she was never entitled to."

The citizenship of politicians has been in the spotlight since late July, when a number of Australian federal politicians discovered they held dual citizenship, banned by the country's constitution.