Dutton’s claim is not the full story. New Zealand citizens travelling on a New Zealand passport are automatically granted a visa when entering Australia.This is because of a bilateral arrangement between New Zealand and Australia, known as the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, which allows their citizens free movement between the two countries.
However, people seeking asylum in New Zealand do not enjoy this privilege. Furthermore, asylum seekers granted refugee status would still require special travel documents and would need to apply for a visa before travelling to Australia.
Experts told Fact Check that asylum seekers faced a lengthy process before being in a position to travel freely between New Zealand and Australia, needing first to qualify for citizenship.Anna Copeland, of Murdoch University’s Law School, told Fact Check: “It’s hardly justifiable to conclude that allowing New Zealand to take asylum seekers would create a backdoor into Australia.”The process to New Zealand citizenship is a long one … For refugees from Manus [Island] or Nauru, they would have to first become New Zealand citizens, which takes more than five years.”