Today, we have submitted a letter to all Members of Parliament in New Zealand requesting their support for freedom of movement with the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
If you would also like to connect with your local Member of Parliament and pledge your support for free movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, please visit our "Help Us" section or click here.
Dear Honourable Member,
With the United Kingdom’s momentous decision to leave the European Union, New Zealand has been given a truly once in a lifetime opportunity to reassert our bonds with the Commonwealth nations of the UK, Australia and Canada.
As Britain negotiates their exit from the EU, we can begin to negotiate for the re-establishment of our citizens’ rights to live and work in the UK and Canada, based on the model of our highly successful Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement with Australia.
In pursuing this, we will assist the United Kingdom in embracing their new future outside the European Union and forging a new role in the world, which will leave New Zealand more prosperous and diplomatic. The benefits of re-establishing our citizens’ rights to live and work in Canada and the United Kingdom will be substantial, and will, in our estimation, form an important bridge in allowing our economy to evolve into a leader of innovation, giving New Zealand a real and decisive competitive advantage in the global economy while retaining control over immigration and border security.
Re-establishing citizens’ rights to live and work throughout the Commonwealth has wide spread support in all four nations. A major international poll conducted by the Royal Commonwealth Society, in March 2016, found that 70% of Australians, 75% of Canadians, 82% of New Zealanders and 58% of Britons support the free movement of citizens between our countries. This shows a remarkable level of support and provides a clear mandate for promoting free movement within the parliament of New Zealand.
The key to our future prosperity lies in how effectively we innovate and compete in an increasingly globalised marketplace. By securing the ability of New Zealanders to work and study in the United Kingdom and Canada, we will unlock a unique and substantial competitive advantage for our nation globally.
In effect, we will create the foundation of a single labour market servicing the world’s third largest combined economy. Throughout this huge region, New Zealanders will work and study freely while our businesses recruit the best talent, all without the cost, risk and often lengthy delays currently experienced.
The ability of New Zealanders to work and study in both Canada and the UK will also promote innovation, as we will have unparalleled access to the ideas and innovations being developed in the European, North American and the Asian-Pacific markets.
The expansion of the special visa scheme should, in our opinion, be secured through non-binding ministerial agreements such as those which form the basis of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. The advantage of this approach is that it leaves New Zealand free to adjust the agreement(s) as the situation demands without impediment, as well as ensuring that we retain full control over our borders and immigration system with no dilution of sovereignty.
With the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, we now have the greatest opportunity for our nation to achieve freedom of movement, and secure economic and social prosperity for citizens of New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. We share the same Head of State, the same common-law legal system, the same culture, the same respect for democracy and even the same language. It is now time for us to embrace our historical ties, and grasp the substantial benefits that freedom of movement between our four nations would bring.
I look forward to your response, and sincerely hope we can work together in promoting this popular mandate within the parliament of New Zealand.
Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation