Barnaby Joyce refers himself to the High Court over citizenship cloud

14 Août, 2017, 04:07 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Damukana Sogavare inspects the Federation Guard during a ceremonial

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is the latest politician to be caught up in the country's dual citizenship controversy, saying he could be a New Zealand citizen.

Last Thursday afternoon the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that on the basis of preliminary advice from the Dept of Internal Affairs, which received inquiries from the New Zealand Labour Party, they considered that I may be a citizen by decent of New Zealand.

Mr Joyce said he would refer the matter to the nation's High Court.

The solicitor-general has advised the government that Mr Joyce has a strong case as no application was made on his behalf to become a New Zealand citizen and he was born in Australia.

"Neither I or my parents had any reason to believe that I may be a citizen of any other country".

Holding public office as a dual citizen is not allowed under Australia's constitution.

He will not step down as deputy prime minister while the High Court considers his eligibility to sit in the parliament. "The New Zealand government has no register recognising me as a New Zealand citizen".

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"I've always been an Australian citizen, born in Tamworth, just as my mother and great grandmother 100 years earlier".

My father was born in New Zealand and came to Australia in 1947 as a British subject - in fact we were all British subjects at that time.

According to the NZ government passport website: "If you were born overseas and at least 1 of your parents is a New Zealand citizen by birth or grant, you are an NZ citizen by descent".

Surprise dual nationalities have already claimed the scalps of Greens' senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam, who quit when their citizenships of Canada and NZ respectively came to light.

The Turnbull government has a one seat majority in the House of Representatives.

Of the four, possibly five, MPs recently found to hold dual citizenship, only the two Greens senators completely resigned.

Liberal Matt Canavan and One Nation's Malcolm Roberts are now waiting on legal advice over their citizenship, with Canavan claiming that his mother applied for Italian citizenship for him without telling him.

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