Australia's review of temporary residency rules is welcome news to New Zealanders across Tasman

Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis living in Australia on temporary visas could benefit from a pathway to citizenship for the first time in 21 years.

The news is a welcome relief to those who've lived across the Tasman for most of their lives.

Elsbeth Wood has lived in Australia for 20 years on a temporary visa.

"I own a home here now and I'm involved in the community," she told Newshub.

In that time she hasn't been able to vote nor is she eligible for support if things go wrong.

"That security if I were to lose my job, if I was to become unwell and have to go on a disability pension," she said.

It's a problem faced by Kiwis living in Australia on temporary visas but on Friday the Australian government said it's reviewing the rules.

"We don't want people to be temporary residents forever and what we'll do is we'll work on ways for a pathway to citizenship with a timeline of Anzac Day 2023," new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

Albanese said Australia will take a common sense approach, aware also that a lack of a pathway has seen people deported to New Zealand under the 501 policy despite having spent most of their lives in Australia.

"This will give hundreds of thousands of Kiwis some security for their lives that they have built up in Australia and they haven't had that since 2001," Community Law Centres CEO Sue Moroney told Newshub.

Moroney said Kiwis currently living across the Tasman are left vulnerable every time disaster strikes - as seen last week with floods in New South Wales.

"The Australian government had to make a specific and separate decision that New Zealand citizens were entitled to support that Australian citizens affected by floods were getting," Moroney said.

Moroney says the commitment by Australia's new Labor government is promising and urges Kiwis like Wood across the Tasman to take up the pathway to residency when it's available.