Covid Shows Why New Zealand Needs A One Passport Law

Today Jacinda Ardern did the smart thing.  Well done.

She effectively temporarily created two classes of person in New Zealand with residency rights.

Citizens, and;
Those with residence rights.

I am a New Zealand passport holder and citizen.  I hold no other passport.  After going through seven years in Hong Kong and proving I was not going to bring over my family and sponge off their limited welfare system,  I received a permanent residency card. I do not care much to have the card and would give it up if I had to and apply for more temporary work visas, which may happen if the Mainland yanks them when they wish.  I choose not to vote in their elections, I do not access any of  their public health, education or welfare system. 

New Zealand allows people to hold dual passports.  Most western countries do.  We all know some tosser who claims to have three passports.  All for entirely selfish reasons of course due to welfare rights, ease of travel, access to something for free for them of their children etc.... A bit like persons who have two cellphones, it is an immediate sign of suspicion.  

Mainland China and India do not allow their citizens to hold two passports.  That is persons from China and India cannot hold a New Zealand passport at the same time they have one from China or India.  It does not mean that they do not.  At the commencement of Covid, these people got on flights with reckless abandon to get out of dodge and over to New Zealand and other countries before they were shut out.

Right now understandably even wealthy Indians do not wish to be in India.  The absurdity of playing IPL cricket when this is happening has left many confused.  Last month 50,000 people poured in to watch England play India at cricket.  Have a read of this piece to see how bad it is:

For once, the rich are as helpless as the poor. In a country where money and connections could always ensure access to some of the best healthcare in the world, the second wave has come as a rude shock. Money has no currency now.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, some of the top private hospitals in New Delhi said they had only a couple of hours of oxygen left, after which its patients would start dying – those on ventilators within minutes and other patients within hours.
So, Lord of The Flies stuff.

Try as a New Zealander to get an Indian passport or a Mainland Chinese one.  Good luck.  Even getting residency in those countries is beyond the complexity of most to bother.

For those Indians screaming in online forums about how racist the move is by Ardern today, consider this - your country of birth does not provide New Zealanders with reciprocal rights you are enjoying.  Why should New Zealand?  Ditto China.

Personally I could never dream of converting my permanent residence card in Hong Kong to a Hong Kong passport.  I am not a Hong Konger, it is ridiculous I would wish to be Mainland or HK Chinese and pretend that I am somehow Asian.  This will never happen because I am a New Zealander.  Rather like wearing a supporters shirt of another nation in sport I see absolutely no reason to ever hold another passport.  Why ring-ins can come to New Zealand carrying another passport, pretend they are suddenly "Kiwis" and throw their weight around to get rights to health, welfare and education, is beyond me.  A Hong Kong passport holder trying that on in New Zealand with a residency card would be more successful than I would be as a New Zealand passport holder doing same with a PR card in Hong Kong, where I would be given a short shift.

The days of passport and residency shopping need to end and covid has highlighted why. People are actively shopping for places they will live  in a time we all need to be staying where we are and out of a country with an elimination strategy and MIQ.  

Dual passports have also contributed dramatically to financial fraud over the years.  I have seen many examples in my own industry of persons simply buying them.  

New Zealand has been dim enough to hand out passports and residency to persons of all nationalities and races who have come over, got it, disappeared and now their own countries (in the case of India) are rotting in their own sewers, they wish to suddenly be recognised as a "Kiwi".  And of course bring in their entire family.  Many of these people actually cannot afford to live in New Zealand in 2021. They will eventually rely on free health, education and welfare.  Then their parents, grandparents and themselves - Superannuation. Gone are the days you can earn even $100,000 in Auckland and support a family as a new immigrant without assistance from the endless freebies New Zealand hands out.  Why then is New Zealand letting people reside in New Zealand with the same rights and privileges as New Zealanders to people who actually are not and maybe never will be, self-sufficient?

Today Ardern allowed those people in India with New Zealand passports to come back to New Zealand. By crude statistics this is meant to cut numbers to just 25% of what they are now which gives you an idea of these wishing to return who just have residency or visas.  If they have a New Zealand passport they should not be holding an Indian one so are prima facie, stateless.  Or are they if currently in India?  Any Indian with an Indian passport and a New Zealand one is breaking the law in India. Indians without Indian passports have traditionally carried a PIO or an OCI card as a person of Indian origin or an overseas citizen of India, but this is widely recognised as a second class of person in India and is more a long term visa.  This does however give them the right to be in India now so they are not stateless either so quite why Ardern is rushing to let these people back as New Zealanders in an emergency such as covid, is a mystery when she has claimed it is because otherwise they would be stateless.  It would be a good time however to data match with India (and China), to those from their countries who are carrying New Zealand passports.

If Indians, Chinese or anyone in fact, wishes to be a New Zealander, treated as a New Zealander with all the rights to come and go attached, ditch your second and third passport, start supporting the right sports teams, wave our damn flag and enjoy the privileges of being a New Zealander.

Until then, stop your whinging that race has anything to do with this and it is unfair.  Your own countries are not welcoming of westerners demanding the same access to heath, education and middle class welfare as you are.  

Covid has highlighted a problem that should now be solved that New Zealand is currently a desirable country in which to be living.  When it was open season on letting people in, New Zealand was begging for people. This has apparently changed and everyone wants to go to New Zealand. 

Why is New Zealand doling out passports with rights attached as New Zealanders to persons who hold other passports?  

And isn't it time New Zealand got a bit more picky about who they are doing this for?  

Why hand out residency to people who should just be on temporary visas while working in New Zealand?

Should for example they be disqualified for receiving free health, education, super etc for themselves and their families and have to have their own private insurance and funding for such?  I had to prove this to get my Hong Kong permanent residency card.  Domestic helpers for example cannot get permanent residence in Hong Kong because they are not self-supporting. Why is New Zealand such a soft touch putting strain on education, health and housing resources?

Because I have seen the quality of these visa holders and wannabe Kiwis in the online forums and media, and wonder just how desperate New Zealand has been for immigrants as these are not the elite lining up to get in and grab that residency and then passport.


  1. Great post CK, thanks. Interesting angle I had not considered before.

    (first time commenter here BTW)

  2. I have never commented in any blog (I read a reasonable number) before. I have long enjoyed reading this particular blog; the writing style is comedy gold, it's quite brilliant, and the strongly held opinions are thought provoking, some I agree with, some I don't.
    But this particular piece I agree with 100%. It would be very interesting to know how many of the tens of thousands of "Kiwis" who have returned in the last 12 months or so are in fact dual citizens/passport holders who would not have been made stateless if they had been prevented from arriving here. Somewhere, deep in some government department I'm sure this information exists.
    Disclosure: I have lived here for 18 years. I hold PR but am a UK citizen and passport holder.
    Meanwhile, dear Blogger, keep up the good work. There will be many, many more people who read and enjoy your Blog than will ever comment.

    1. I apparently make commenting so difficult that only the persistent get through. You should of course get a NZ passport and pick a side, however as an educated man I am sure you have thought this through and identify ultimately as a Pom.
      As to the information - from my experience in the offshore industry, the Chinese especially make it extraordinarily difficult with their names to track multiple passports. Read up of cases where they have been caught in fraud and you will see just how long it takes to track them down through the careful use and combination of first and surnames/English names etc. I found one instance where the man in front of me had two passports with completely different names on them.

  3. I couldn't agree more. I get sick have hearing that we used to have a poll tax but never a mention of reciprocal rights.
    According to Economist China had naturalised 1448 people in total as at 2013 [The Upper Han].

    The other thing that bothers me is the notion that when it comes to *large numbers* of migrants people of whatever ethnicity as long as their children are born here they are New Zealanders. That was the argument advanced by John Campbell against NZF Peter Brown.

    Technically it is true but it has unintended consequences as when ethnic groups are encouraged to express and preserve their cultural peculiarities while the majority are expected to dissolve themselves. If it is no one's country then another level is needed to manage the underlings.

    When was the last time a national broadcaster wrote "You've got to keep pushing the uglies" (Guyon Espiner).

  4. Agreed, but would have exceptions for the UK, Aus and possibly Canada and SA. The fact is some countries are more foreign than others and it ludicrous to compare China and India to those with whom we have inextricably close cultural and historical ties. Particularly the UK.

  5. Isn't this simply a case of NZers getting what they voted for? ie. soft touch government. You can hardly blame people of other nationalities. Most of them do work hard, and at least stay out of trouble. They aren't the only group where the taxpayer confers a bunch of entitlements. i.e. Pensioners drawing from a system that (contrary to their beliefs) they never actually paid into because nothing was saved for their future retirement.
    The result is or will ultimately be the same, some generations having to pay twice and placing a strained system under further strain.

  6. NZ is a welfare state. And duh of course lots of Indian immigrants come here and get more for an easier lifestyle than they would in India. Now we have welfare to the point it can be from cradle to the grave. Covid has highlighted this in particular for Indian and Chinese immigrants, but it is across the board from all immigrant groups. Eventually it will collapse in on itself, you can only have open immigration or welfare, but not both.

  7. Hi Cathy.

    My wife and I moved to New Zealand in 2003 and received Permanent Residence in 2005. We haven't sought citizenship, mostly because of the paperwork. We live in NZ and have been resident and tax resident for a very long time. Our kids are Kiwis.

    Our kids are eligible for Canadian Citizenship by birth, because I'm Canadian.
    As far as the Canadian government is concerned, my kids are potential Canadians who are ineligible to enter Canada on their New Zealand passports - the only passports they hold. We must first seek a certificate of Canadian Citizenship for them, then get them Canadian passports.

    Our kids are also eligible for American citizenship by birth, through their mother. And the same deal applies there.

    Under your proposal, I would be forced to toss my Canadian passport. I don't particularly want to do that; my parents are still there, along with my extended family. I can imagine eventual substantial hassles if we needed to go back for a year or two for some reason. But more substantially, my kids would be forever banned from entering either the United States or Canada because New Zealand would forbid them from seeking a Canadian passport while Canada mandates it. Neither I nor they can change the citizenships that their parents held when they were born. They would not be allowed to get a Canadian passport, but not allowed to enter Canada without one.

    One of the really great things about moving to New Zealand, as compared to moving to the US from Canada, was that residents weren't treated as some kind of second-class category. It was really wonderful while it lasted.


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