Sunday, 15 January 2012

In praise of NZ residence

The Economist recommends that countries link rights and responsibilities to residence rather than citizenship and make it simple for folks to get multiple passports:
As for benefits, residency is surely the key. Live and pay your taxes in a country—and you should then be treated in the same way as any other resident, and better than a citizen who has lived overseas and not paid up.
Vote often
The thorniest problem for a residency-based system is voting—a right that has long been linked to citizenship. But there is room for compromise here. In France and Italy, for instance, citizens who live permanently abroad (often with dual nationality) have voting rights. That makes sense. Conversely, countries should give long-term resident non-citizens the right to vote, at least in local elections. European Union countries already allow that to each others’ citizens.
But looking at multiple citizenship purely on the basis of costs and problems is wrong. It also encourages links between diasporas (often wealthy and well connected) and their home countries (usually poorer), to the benefit of both. Multiple citizenship is inevitable and, at heart, rather liberal. Celebrate it.
We've not bothered getting NZ citizenship as yet; the opportunity cost of getting a pair of NZ passports is a new TV, and we have an 8-year old tiny cathode-ray tube. And NZ citizenship confers no particular benefits that aren't provided by permanent residence. And that is as it should be.


  1. By contrast, the US immigration system is wildly broken.

    Here's a country where even if you are smart with money and great prospects, they make it expensive and fiendishly difficult to work here and contribute to US GDP.

    Yet the way the immigration system does work, the average immigrant is far from the highly-skilled alien, they're pulled in through the arcane system of familial sponsorship.

  2. familial sponsorship is big here in NZ also, its probably ok, why is money and business everything, why favour business and farming interests who are going to rip us off when the capital system is collapsing now, that is now, so maybe we can have our new wives and familial sponsorship, and anyway lets get new people into the country, most New Zealanders are morons, that is repeat New Zealand is full of morons, lets invite new people to upgrade our collapsing country

  3. @Robbie: Blueseed. Blueseed blueseed blueseed. Blueseed!!