Hipkins caught playing dirty politics on behalf of ALP?

Has Chris Hipkins been caught playing dirty politics on behalf of the ALP?

A crisis has appeared in the Australian government with the deputy Prime Minister possibly a dual citizen, though not by his own hand, but by an accident of birth.

But it looks like Chris Hipkins may have been an agent provocateur for the ALP.

NBR Reports:

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has shocked the Australian Federal Parliament after revealing he may be a dual New Zealand citizen and faces being dismissed from Parliament.

(Crown Law has since confirmed Mr Joyce is a New Zealand citizen).

But, in a bizarre twist, the information that could see Australians going to the polls in a by-election came from questions asked by the New Zealand Labour Party.   

“Last Thursday afternoon the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that, on the basis of preliminary advice from New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs, which had received inquiries from the New Zealand Labour Party, they considered that I may be a citizen by descent of New Zealand,” Mr Joyce told the Australian Parliament this morning.

Under Australian laws, a member of Parliament cannot be a dual citizen.

But Labour seems to have no idea where the information came from or who in its ranks was even asking those questions.

NBR spoke to two party press secretaries after the news broke this morning and neither knew much about the saga.

One confirmed it “definitely did not come from the leader’s office.”

Labour’s general secretary Andrew Kirton could not be reached for comment.

But on August 9, Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins submitted a written question to Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, asking: “Would a child born in Australia to a New Zealand father automatically have New Zealand citizenship?”

He also asked: “Are children born in Australia to parents who are New Zealand citizens automatically citizens of New Zealand; if not, what process do they need to follow in order to become New Zealand citizens?”

The responses are not due until August 17 and a spokesman for Mr Dunne says it would be inappropriate to discuss an answer with a third party before the date of reply.

Mr Hipkins was not able to be reached for comment.

If the High Court finds Mr Joyce is a dual citizen he will be dismissed from Parliament and there will be a by-election in his New South Wales seat.

This looks like the ALP reaching out for some assistance from their comrades in NZ Labour.

It is all a bit silly, Joyce was born in Australia and his father was a New Zealander. He has never applied for or been given NZ citizenship, it seems you just automatically become one if you are born to NZ parents even if you are born overseas.

I would fall into this category. I was born in Fiji, but the laws that applied, the same laws that are now affecting Joyce, mean because my parents were both NZ citizens I was automatically a NZ citizen by descent. I’m a dual citizen now, I also have Fiji citizenship by virtue of my birth.

But it seems very strange that Chris Hipkins is more concerned with nailing an Aussie politician than delivering for Kiwi voters.

 

-NBR

 

 


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