It turns out deputy PM Barnaby Joyce might be a Kiwi

14 August, 2017, 04:19 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Damukana Sogavare inspects the Federation Guard during a ceremonial

The Turnbull government faces fresh turmoil amid revelations Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce may be a dual New Zealand citizen and will be referred to the High Court.

"The concept of New Zealand-Australian citizenship was not created until 1948", Joyce said.

Speaking in the House of Representatives this morning, Joyce said he and the government had received legal assurances he is not a dual citizen, and not in violation of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution.

The prime minister has asked that Mr Joyce remain deputy prime minister and continue his ministerial duties.

The government has received legal advice from the solicitor-general which suggests Mr Joyce would not be found to be disqualified under section 44 of the constitution and would not have to resign as the Member for New England.

The 50-year-old said he was "shocked" to receive the call but would stay in his position while the matter was referred to the High Court.

"Neither I, nor my parents, have had any reason to believe that I may be a citizen of any other country".

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Mr Joyce's father was never a NZ citizen because NZ and Australian citizenship did not exist in 19747. My father, who was born in New Zealand, came to Australia in 1947 as a British subject.

Prior suggestions that Mr Joyce held dual citizenship had been quickly dismissed as "laughable" by the politician.

The Senate last week referred the cases of Canavan, two Greens senators, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam, and the One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts to the court over dual citizenships.

The Nationals leader told parliament he was born in Tamworth in 1967 to an Australian mother and was fifth generation Australian.

Cabinet Minister Matt Canavan is awaiting a High Court decision over his Italian citizenship which was applied for by his mother without his consent, he says.

Malcolm Turnbull has written to Bill Shorten offering the Labor leader the opportunity to nominate caucus members who may have issues with dual citizenship.

Several senators have resigned or are facing scrutiny over their citizenship status.

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