Published: Mon, August 14, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Barnaby Joyce refers himself to high court over possible New Zealand citizenship

Barnaby Joyce refers himself to high court over possible New Zealand citizenship

Australia's deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, has revealed that he may hold dual citizenship with New Zealand.

"Last Thursday afternoon the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that on the basis of preliminary advice from their department of internal affairs which had received inquiries from the New Zealand Labor Party, they considered that I may be a citizen by descent of New Zealand", he told Parliament today.

It is understood New Zealand citizenship may have been conferred to Mr Joyce via his father, who was born in New Zealand and came to Australia in 1947 as a British subject.

Last week the Senate voted to refer Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, former Coalition minister Matt Canavan, and One Nation's Malcolm Roberts to the High Court to determine their eligibility for parliament.

He told the parliament the government had received legal advice that he was in the clear, but referred himself to be on the safe side.

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"Needless to say I was shocked".

The Government holds a one seat majority in the House of Representatives and if Mr Joyce were disqualified from being able to sit in Parliament, the government would lose its majority.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce may be a New Zealand citizen.

"Neither my parents nor I have ever applied to register me as a New Zealand citizen".

Under the Australian constitution, anyone with dual citizenship can not stand for federal election. Just as my mother and my great grandmother was born there 100 years earlier.

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But Mr Joyce said he would stay on as Deputy PM due to legal advice that suggested he had a strong case.

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.

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

Two Greens senators resigned from parliament last month after discovering they were dual citizens due to their birthplace.

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