Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill – Second Reading – Video 2

Social Assistance (Residency Qualification) Legislation Bill – Second Reading – Video 2

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to the question and unfairness there was considerable back back and forth madam Speaker I call the Honourable Louise upstone I think you madam Speaker and I rise in the second reading of the social assistance residency qualification legislation bill and will put on record that national will of course be supporting this legislation and the second reading there was of course a visit last year by right honourable bill English a prime ministerial visit to the Pacific where he made the undertaking that the shusui would be resolved and that’s why national is pleased to support this legislation unfortunately you know there is a lot of legislation that is supported around the house and that doesn’t usually make headlines but I know this particular legislation will make a significant difference even though the media might not report it and be singing it from the rooftops because this is of course about making the superannuation requirements fairer for residents of the Cook Islands Niue a and Tokelau so it is of course nice that this is getting a second reading in Tokelau language week but also as the MP for Topal I have a significant quick island population and I know this is an issue that I’ve raised in this as an issue and that will make a difference to them so for those of you so those listeners or viewers that have just tuned in to this particular debate and there is a requirement at the moment that came into effect in 2015 that has a New Zealand superannuation residence requirement of five years residents from the age of 50 or what’s more commonly known as the five after 50 rule but what it means for those in the Cook Islands Niue a and Tokelau that we have particular constitutional arrangements worth in New Zealand a very special relationship with it was actually deterring skilled people from returning to those countries who in many cases desperately need the skills of that population and instead was kind of forcing them to remain in New Zealand which had an economic impact on those home countries so this is a practical and sensible change as I said that the former Prime Minister right honourable bill English had committed to in the Pacific in June last year so I do want to commend the government for making this a priority I was on the Select Committee that has considered this legislation and it’s an interesting select committee we have bills like this that are very simple and straightforward there were seven submitters and the submitters did range ted’s raised a number of issues the minister has gone through those in detail so it’s not my expectation to traverse that ground again madam Speaker I do want to just say though if any of the submitters are listening to this debate or read the hand side subsequently the issues absolutely were considered by the Select Committee they were considered at length and discussed at length the overall decision though was that the bill wouldn’t be changed as was presented to the Select Committee and as I say the minister who spoke before me I think traversed those issues well and I don’t intend to do it the social services in community Select Committee have other legislation that is not quite so straightforward and but also unanimously supported like child poverty legislation that has taken a significant amount of work in cooperation to get back to this house so in terms of this piece of legislation social social assistance residency qualification and legislation bill it absolutely recognizes the special relationship that New Zealand has worth the Cook Islands Niue a and Tokelau and while we welcome the rights of people from these countries to live in New Zealand it’s also really important that we give them the equal opportunity to live in in the original islands and that we don’t want to be imposing something that actually then by way of providing a superannuation to someone then is detrimental to the home economies and at the same time not making sure making sure that those individuals aren’t punished by not receiving or qualifying for the superannuation payment so it is a simple change the cost identified to taxpayers is actually very little one of the numbers that was considered for example madam Speaker as it was thought that the pre perhaps so if this wasn’t progressed about 200 people that would delay their departure back to the Cook Islands Niue a or Tokelau until they reach the age of 65 they would have been qualified for the residency and for the New Zealand superannuation and then travelled back so it’s not a large number that’s affected but for those individuals and their families industry countries involved actually it’s a significant benefit so for those listening it’s a fairly simple piece of legislation but it will have wide-ranging impacts I want to thank my parliamentary colleagues on the Select Committee for the work that was done on this and to make sure that this legislation progresses worth the reasonable pace so that those individuals and families in the three countries of the Cook Islands new way in Tokelau receive the adequate benefit thank you madam Speaker I call Priyanka Radha Krishnan Maloney madam Speaker it is

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