PM: Citizenship rules to stay same for all

  • 31/10/2016
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong, file)
Prime Minister John Key (Simon Wong, file)

The Australian government's plan to ban asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever setting foot in the country mean it's increasingly unlikely they will accept New Zealand's offer to resettle those in detention on Nauru, the Prime Minister John Key says.

New Zealand's offer to take 150 refugees from Nauru still stands but would still allow for back door entry for refugees who are granted Kiwi citizenship to then move to Australia.

And Mr Key says the Government has no intention of creating separate classes of New Zealand citizens that would close that door.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced his lifetime ban plan on Sunday, saying he would stop any adult sent to detention centres on Nauru or Manus Island from ever entering Australia, including as a tourist or on business, regardless of whether they are found to be refugees or not.

"There's no obvious appetite from Australia to take up the [resettlement] offer," Mr Key said on Monday.

"I think it's increasingly unlikely that they will, simply because I haven't seen any evidence to support that there would be a position where someone could come to New Zealand, ultimately gain New Zealand citizenship, and not have the rights to travel over to Australia," Mr Key said on Monday.