Kiwi authorities have confirmed that Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is technically a dual citizen, casting serious doubts over ability to serve in Parliament – and on the Coalition government’s narrow majority.
New Zealand Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says that his department made the determination after receiving inquiries from Fairfax Media last week.
Crown Law looked into the issue, and found that Joyce is indeed a New Zealand citizen thanks to his father’s heritage.
As it stands, anyone born to a Kiwi father between the years of 1949 and 1978 is considered to be a New Zealand citizen through descent. Joyce was born in 1967.
Notably, that citizenship does not need to be activated or formally registered by the citizen. It’s totally automatic.
This morning, Joyce announced he wanted the matter referred to the High Court based on advice from the New Zealand High Commission.
However, he is continuing to serve as the deputy PM on prior legal advice obtained by the government, which lead him to believe he’s totally in the clear.
We’ll keep you posted on this one.