Australian Deputy PM could be a Kiwi, unqualified for office

Australian Deputy PM could be a Kiwi, unqualified for office

Australian Deputy PM could be a Kiwi, unqualified for office

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.

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

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has asked the High Court to rule on his eligibility to sit in the Parliament after it was revealed he may be a citizen of New Zealand.

He will stay on as deputy prime minister.

Barnaby Joyce may be the next Australian politician forced to stand down because of dual citizenship.

This is the latest in a surprisingly high amount of MPs to be caught out in a section of the constitution numerous public didn't even know existed.

He noted that the concept of New Zealand and Australian citizenship was not created until 1948.

"However, to provide clarification to this very important area of the law for this and future Parliaments, I have asked the Government to refer the matter, in accordance with s. 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act, to the High Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns".

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Mr Joyce told parliament on Monday the New Zealand High Commission had contacted him last Thursday with the "shocking" information. My father was born in New Zealand, came to Australia in 1947 as a British subject.

His father James Joyce was born in Dunedin, NZ before moving to Australia.

He says the Government has been advised by the Solicitor General that he is unlikely to have breached Section 44.

"I have always been an Australian citizen", he said.

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 Prime Minister has today written to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to invite him to "nominate any Labor members of senators whose circumstances may raise questions".

The following week, senator Matt Canavan stepped down from his role as resources minister after discovering that his mother had signed him up as a dual citizen with Italy.

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