The Expatriate Party of New Zealand plans to fight Voting Law
Expat involvement in local and overseas politics has been an issue in many popular immigration locations, and last week we reported on two Canadian expats who were fighting an ‘unconstitutional’ expat voting restriction in their own nation.
Now, according to recent news reports, a group of expat Kiwi’s have formed ‘The Expatriate Party of New Zealand’ and are hell bent on becoming a dominating political force in the South Pacific nation.
An estimated 1 million New Zealanders are currently residing overseas, with more than 200,000 believed to be living in neighbouring Australia.
The new Perth-based political party reached the minimum member requirement and is now registered with New Zealand’s Electoral Commission with the intention of contesting the current guidelines on expat voting rights.
Under the current law, any New Zealand citizen who has resided abroad for over three years is banned from voting in local and national elections.
The Expatriate Party of New Zealand has established a delegation in London and plans to run in this year’s general election. Their first goal is to push for the abolition of that voting law.
According to party spokesman Nick Teulon; ‘We’ve formed on behalf of the 200,000 voiceless New Zealanders who are currently ineligible to vote in New Zealand. Around 83 per cent of Kiwis living overseas keep up with New Zealand News and current affairs. A lot of [expatriates] own land in New Zealand, go back on holidays regularly, have strong ties to the country. This is about taking an interest in your homeland.’
Another key aim of the party is to improve the standing of New Zealanders living abroad. A second ruling the party hope to have overturned is that which denies Kiwi’s who moved to Australia after February 2001 the right to receive Australian social security benefit.
What do you think? Does The Expatriate Party of New Zealand have a point? Would you vote for them?
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