New Zealand stops citizenship abuse



5 January 2006

"The Governor-General in the Realm of New Zealand requests in the Name of Her Majesty The Queen all whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful assistance and protection"

From January 1st, children born in New Zealand to foreign nationals are no longer New Zealand citizens by virtue of birth. Up until now, New Zealand citizenship is acquired by children born in this country, irrespective of the nationality of their parents. The new provisions are defined in section 6(1)b of the Citizenship Act 1977 as amended by the Citizenship Amendment Act 2005.

Now, a person cannot travel to New Zealand on a temporary permit solely to give birth and gain New Zealand citizenship for the purpose of misusing this country’s social, economic and welfare benefits. By restricting citizenship by birth, the citizenship laws now ensure that citizenship and its benefits are limited to people who have a genuine and ongoing link to New Zealand.

Maldivians visiting New Zealand for education and other purposes have long misused their entry permits by willfully abusing this country's citizenship laws. New Zealand citizens have virtually the same rights as Australian citizens while in Australia. New Zealand citizens are entitled to a New Zealand passport, New Zealand and Australian taxpayer-funded education, health and superannuation facilities, investment rights, visa-free entry to other developed countries and the right to elect and be elected to public office.

There are instances where many Maldivians have planned pregnancies in order to have a baby born, with the deliberate intention of taking advantage of the privileges of New Zealand citizenship and Australian residency. Over the past 14 years, members of influential Maldive families have regularly planned pregnancies with the specific intention of abusing citizenship laws. On more than one occasion this writer has fielded queries from Maldivians who wanted to find out what the specific citizenship benefits are of having a child born in this country to foreign parents. In one case when the woman miscarried shortly before arriving here, her influential family in the Maldives postponed her scholarship until she became pregnant again. Maldivians are understood to be one of the worst nationalities in terms of misusing the New Zealand citizenship laws.

The use of tax-payer-funded services creates a social contract between the state and the beneficiaries of those services. Australian and New Zealand parents who wish or plan to obtain social, economic or welfare benefits for their children contribute to the state revenue by paying taxes. However, many Maldive nationals who have had babies born in New Zealand with the specific intention of exploiting New Zealand and Australian social, economic and welfare services have routinely exploited public facilities to the maximum while in this country without contributing to state revenue. Although they could easily afford to pay for neonatal care more than the average New Zealander, no one has ever attempted to establish good faith by paying for these.

Leading up to the change in legislation, New Zealand members of parliament and ministers have been aware for some years, of the abuse of this country's citizenship privileges by unscrupulous Maldivians.

While taking such dubious advantage of this country’s taxpayers, many parents of New Zealand-born Maldive children have invariably failed to disclose their significant incomes in the Maldives to the New Zealand Department of Inland Revenue (IRD), as required by the Income Tax Act 2004. In some cases these undisclosed incomes exceed those of the average to above-average New Zealander and certainly those of fellow students in the institutions where these people are studying.

The Income Tax Act 2004 and its preceding enactments oblige New Zealand tax residents to pay income tax on their global income. That includes overseas rental income and other income derived from offshore investments. Those who do not pay tax may be liable for tax evasion which is a prosecutable offence that carries criminal penalties under the Tax Administration Act 1994. The penalties for tax evasion are imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding $50,000 or both.

To be regarded as a tax resident, one does not have to be either a citizen or a permanent resident of New Zealand or Australia. More often that not, those on a temporary entry permit are also regarded as tax residents. Depending on the circumstance, those who are here for as briefly as a day may also become liable to pay income tax. Occasionally, those not physically in Australia or New Zealand may also be regarded as tax residents within these jurisdictions.

Amending the Citizenship Act addresses a fiscal anomaly as much as it effectively secures New Zealand an Australian borders against potential infiltration by undesirable aliens.

There is also the moral, if not legal, issue of reciprocity. While Maldivians are keen to acquire residency and citizenship in New Zealand, Australia and other Western democracies, they close ranks when it comes to the issue of granting Maldive citizenship or residency rights to people from these countries. All manner of draconian rules are applied including the denial of internationally recognised human rights to New Zealand and Australian citizens in the Maldives.

When Maldive-born New Zealand citizens or their New Zealand-born children travel to the Maldives on their New Zealand passports, the Maldive authorities detain and confiscate the New Zealand passport even though it clearly states that it is the property of the New Zealand Government. Where New Zealand and other citizens with a Maldive background can establish by their attire or attitude that they could be useful for the cause of jihad, their passports may not be confiscated. The Maldive authorities, by confiscating a New Zealand passport and harassing a New Zealand passport-holder, disregards The Governor-General’s formal request in the Name of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II to allow the holder of a New Zealand passport to pass without delay or hindrance.

Further, New Zealand, Australian and other Western nationals who marry Maldive citizens can never expect to be granted Maldive citizenship or civic rights. Nevertheless as a condition of marriage, non-Maldive men are made to convert to Islam and have their names changed on their non-Maldive passports. Such conversions are demanded by Maldive law and routinely enforced even while the potential spouse is in their home country. The social implications that this may have in their home country and family together with the sovereign right of their home country over its territory are callously disregarded by the arrogant Maldive legal system based on the Sharia or Mohamedan law. Requiring nationals of other states either within or outside the territory of the Maldives to convert to Islam is a violation of Articles 18(1) and 23(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

On one occasion, the European husband of a Maldive woman was not only obliged to convert to Islam but was forced to undergo circumcision. The operation resulted in surgical misadventure and the marriage ended in divorce. The man has no recourse to compensation and is psychologically and physically scarred for life. The woman is the daughter of a powerful mullah.

While taking all the advantages of New Zealand citizenship for their New Zealand-born child, including taxpayer-funded neonatal care and acquiring a passport, Maldive parents subject their child to Maldive laws while they are still in New Zealand by giving in to the demands of the mullahs in the Maldive Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs. This organ of the Maldive government, insists on exercising its authority over the children of Maldive nationals living outside their legitimate territorial jurisdiction by imposing a name that is acceptable to them. They routinely veto both native Maldive and New Zealand names and insist on what they believe to be an Islamic name. As proxies of Arab colonialism, Maldive mullahs have an agenda to wipe out all traces of the once-proud Maldive heritage and to impose the culture of 7th century Arabia.

The extension of extra-territorial jurisdiction by an organ of the Maldive government over a New Zealand citizen in New Zealand is illegal under international law. By insisting on dictating a name for a New Zealand citizen who has not been born in the Maldives, the Maldive authorities are contravening Article 7(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which the Republic of the Maldives ratified on 13 March 1991.

The Irish Republic was the last European Union country to amend its laws to prevent the abuse of the privileges of citizenship. In July 2005, the Irish voted by a whopping majority of 80% to prevent unwelcome aliens from gaining European citizenship by giving birth in Irish soil.

Most Maldive nationals who have taken undue advantage of New Zealand and Australian citizenship have done so for either financial or ideological gain. The potential financial gains have been outlined earlier in this article. The ideological gain is realised by becoming part of the vanguard of an alien ideology.

That these people have no desire to establish a genuine and ongoing link to New Zealand is evidenced by their reluctance to use New Zealand passports when entering the Maldives or travelling to certain third countries. New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and British citizens with a Maldive background are not encouraged to use their non-Maldive passports for travelling to the Maldives because the Maldive ruling mullahs do not wish to acknowledge the fact that ethnic Maldivians are declaring full allegiance to a Christian Sovereign who is ex-officio the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

The ruling Maldive mullahs take the Sharia position that by swearing an oath of allegiance to a Christian Sovereign, a Mohamedan effectively revokes his or her Mohamedan faith. The Koran warns Mohamedans against revoking allegiance to Allah and Mohamed and by implication, Mohamed's successors. Surah el-Fat-h (Koran 48:10) states that:

Surely, those who pledge allegiance to you (Mohamed), are pledging allegiance to Allah. Allah approves their pledge; He places his hand above their hands. Those who violate such a pledge, commit the violation to their own detriment. As for those who fulfill their pledge with Allah, he will grant them a great recompense.

King Mohamed Mueenuddine II Iskander.  Majid's father's uncle and Majid's mother-in-law's grandfatherThis passage in the Koran was quoted in 1887 by the Maldive Chief Justice Naibu Tuttu to advise the King Mohamed Mueenuddine II Iskander against accepting British suzerainty over the Maldives. Tuttu felt that owing allegiance to the "infidel" Queen Victoria amounted to revoking allegiance to Allah. The issue was resolved when it was pointed out that the King was accepting British protection rather than becoming a British subject. Swearing an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, on the other hand, provides no such escape route from the full fury of the Koranic passage.

For this reason, most Maldivians who have taken up New Zealand, Australian, Canadian or British citizenship on behalf of their children or on their own behalf wish to conceal this status and live in self-denial. They demonstrate their duplicity by enjoying the full freedoms and privileges of New Zealand, Australian, Canadian or British citizenship while at the same time keeping their citizenship status a closely guarded secret in the Maldives.

The change in citizenship laws effectively addresses some of the issues discussed in this article. It is a duty of every New Zealand and Australian citizen to monitor any abuse of the social, economic and welfare systems of New Zealand and Australia.