Jesse Mulligan: Australia is treating New Zealand like dirt

On Tuesday afternoon Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop said she'd find it hard to work with New Zealand if the Labour Party made it into government. While it may sound like a threat, The Project co-presenter Jesse Mulligan says for the past few years, Australia has "already been treating us basically like dirt."

Mulligan spoke about the lost Anzac relationship on the show, which has been transcribed below.

OPINION: Despite longstanding agreements which are supposed to give us special rights, New Zealanders seeking a better life in Australia have not been made to feel welcome.

They're not allowed to access unemployment benefits, university subsidies or disaster relief. And even though last year Aussie agreed to give us a special path to citizenship, this year they betrayed that agreement.

So tell me again about this so-called special relationship?

Besides that, the Aussie government is now rounding up Kiwis with criminal records and sending them back to New Zealand, even those ones who have lived in Australia since they were babies.

Along the way, some get stuck in detention centres, essentially being put back in jail for crimes they've already paid for.

Almost 1000 of them have now been sent back here and surprise, surprise - 20 percent of them have reoffended. Remember Australia is not working with the New Zealand government on this. They make a decision and then we pay for it.

Now when Aussies arrive in New Zealand they get the full Anzac treatment, right? Permanent residency, within a few years they get access to student loans, and to benefits. Becoming a citizen costs less than 500 bucks.

Kiwis arriving in Australia get none of that. When our politicians raise it in meetings we're ignored and the 600,000 Kiwis living in Australia can't do anything about it, because despite paying full taxes, they're not allowed to vote.

Forget the trans-Tasman friendship in 2017 - Australia is basically a bully.

So Julie Bishop, when you say you'll find it hard to work with New Zealand, what exactly do you mean? How much worse could it possibly get?

Jesse Mulligan is a co-presenter of Three's The Project.

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