Citizenship Lite

Citizenship Lite

NZ is multicultural and getting more so all the time. There is some disparity between people of different origins in their ability to obtain citizenship. Some countries allow for dual citizenship. That's awesome for those people. Many people come to NZ from countries that do NOT allow dual citizenship. For the most part, they face a stark choice. 1. Apply for NZ Passport and become a foreigner in the land of their birth potentially cutting them off from their family. This is a huge risk for single women who marry NZers only to regret the decision later and potentially become trapped in a relationship because they are cut off from their support network. 2. Live in NZ on a permanent residence basis which works for the most part. This also affects some children born to foreign parents who may face making a choice when they get older. What I advocate is citizenship lite (something like the Turkish Blue Card). It means that as far as NZ is concerned they are citizens but because it's not an internationally recognised passport, it wouldn't affect their birth nationality. I recommend that we make it so that the Citizenship Lite document can be used to enter NZ (make it readable by the machines on the border). It would of course be valueless for trying to get into other countries. I believe that this would put all immigrants on an even playing field whatever the rules of their home country is. I also recommend that citizenship lite has the same requirements and obligations as taking on a full NZ passport. Also, children born to a parent with Citizenship Lite are as if born to a parent with an NZ Passport. It is a safe an easy policy because it's essentially a better and nicer name for permanent returning residents visa with better documentation. Also, this could gather a ton of votes, looking and the demographics for NZ, I calculate that 225,000 people live her who were born in counties that do NOT allow dual citizenship (China, India, Korea, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Germany and Japan). Ok, I get that it doesn't benefit people born in NZ (like me) but then again, if we are born here then we aren't at risk of being cut off from our families either. Let's build a fairer NZ for those that come here. BTW, many Dutch people arrived here after World War 2 and have lived here ever since on permanent residents visas.

Showing 18 reactions

  • Phil Marshall
    commented 2016-12-03 02:33:43 +1300
    Tim, " If you want the same rights & privileges as an NZ citizen become one." Isn’t Graeme’s point that a person from some countries cannot in fact have the same rights and privileges as a NZ citizen by becoming one? Because one of these right and privileges is not to have to choose between two passports. This is not about asking someone to make a commitment to NZ, it is about asking some people to make a commitment that nobody else has to make.
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-12-02 23:23:20 +1300
    Because people in this situation sometimes stick with permanent returning residents visa, sometimes for decades. And they get almost all the same benefits as citizens.

    If you are really after commitment then shouldn’t the rule be one passport only. I struggle to see why people from the UK and other dual passport countries get the benefit out of luck. (I don’t advocate one passport only by the way).

    For citizenship lite you can make all the same demands as you make for people getting full citizenship. All the same obligations. It just wouldn’t trigger the overseas ‘choose one passport’ laws.

    Winston Peters can have the keep all foreigners out vote. There’s quarter of a million people in the ‘choose one passport’ category and probably a bit more in the ‘dual passports OK’ category. It doesn’t cost anything, hardly changes anything (perhaps citizenship lite is better than returning residents visa as a commitment) and there’s a ton of potential votes on it.
  • Tim O’Donnell
    commented 2016-12-02 23:03:56 +1300
    Sorry, I want a commitment to NZ. If you want the same rights & privileges as an NZ citizen become one. I’m unsure why you think there would be no cost to NZ?
  • Phil Marshall
    commented 2016-11-27 22:16:10 +1300
    Tim. I understand your view that we shouldn’t need to make policy to deal with other country’s issues. If all countries had the no dual citizenship rule, then the ‘wants privileges being associated with a NZ citizen’ argument is reasonable. But at the moment, people from many countries have those privilege without having to give up their citizenship.’ So the others are effectively being discriminated against. We have the chance to do something about that at no costs to ourselves. So why wouldn’t we?
  • Tim O’Donnell
    commented 2016-11-27 21:48:01 +1300
    Phil, Assimilate may have been a bad choice of words (or maybe not). If a person wants the privileges associated with being an NZ citizen …become one. Not being a citizen doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t live here they just don’t have the same rights.

    Graeme, Still disagree. If they can get dual citizenship that’s fine, I’m not suggesting it’s taken away (I think that’s what you’re getting at). If an NZer chooses to become a citizen to another country that doesn’t have dual rights…. that’s their choice. People can still travel & work without becoming a citizen of another country (at least in a lot of places). The woman in question should already have made a social network. They would have been here for some time so should have done so. If it doesn’t work out she (or he, since it can happen to anyone) will need to apply to live back in their country of origin.
  • Alan Dawn
    tagged this with interesting 2016-11-27 21:10:02 +1300
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    commented 2016-11-27 09:51:32 +1300
    Of what about people born in New Zealand to one foreign parent. For a lot of countries that are forced to choose. We can’t change the law of other countries and leaving it to chance isn’t the fair NZ way. Options for fairness would be either, enforce single nationality on ALL NZ passport holders (though we do want our rich expats to maintain links right?) or implement a system that for those born here, when they are forced to choose, NZ protects their right to return. It’s the best and smartest who often go overseas. Let’s not create barriers to their return. That’s the purpose of the Turkish Blue Card, to allow those who emigrate to maintain the links. Also, do consider that asking people to ‘commit’ can leave people vulnerable to extended abuse. Consider a woman who arrives, commits, and then has her partner turn abusive. She’s lost her own social support structure. What’s your message for someone in that situation?
  • Phil Marshall
    commented 2016-11-26 22:15:32 +1300
    Tim. My son was born overseas but is fortunate that he is allowed dual citizenship. From what Graeme is saying, wWere he born in The Netherlands, for example, he would have to chose between the country of his Mum and the country of his Dad. If you think that forcing him to make that choice would have an impact on his assimilation, I would like to hear your reasoning.
  • Tim O’Donnell
    commented 2016-11-26 21:24:55 +1300
    I completely disagree. Either become an NZ citizen or don’t? If you want to live here assimilate. It can’t be our responsibility to cover another counties policy around citizenship.
  • Tim O’Donnell
    tagged this with dislike 2016-11-26 21:24:54 +1300
  • Renate de Ryk
    tagged this with interesting 2016-11-26 18:10:21 +1300
  • Alan Barraclough
    commented 2016-11-26 17:31:03 +1300
    Good idea..
  • Alan Barraclough
    tagged this with important 2016-11-26 17:31:03 +1300
  • David ten Have
    tagged this with interesting 2016-11-26 05:02:27 +1300
  • Jo (Joanne) Massey
    followed this page 2016-11-26 04:49:02 +1300
  • Phil Marshall
    commented 2016-11-26 02:50:55 +1300
    Totally on board with this suggestion.
  • Phil Marshall
    tagged this with important 2016-11-26 02:50:54 +1300
  • Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
    published this page in Suggestions 2016-11-26 00:52:19 +1300