Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has promised to look at giving New Zealanders living in Australia access to social welfare, health and education programmes.
About 300,000 New Zealanders live across the Tasman on special category visas, meaning they pay taxes but do not get access to benefits of permanent residency such as disability care, welfare and social housing.
Mr Hockey, who is visiting New Zealand, told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme he would look into the issue.
"The Prime Minister (John Key) has raised with me a few issues. I'm prepared to look at them but obviously I have budget constraints, and that's been the major impediment," he said.
But Iwi n Aus co-founder Erina Morunga-Anderson said she was highly skeptical of Mr Hockey's comments.
"I'd be very interested to see if Joe Hockey does mean what he's saying or whether that's another empty promise, just stringing people along.
"I honestly wouldn't trust him as far as I could kick him, because look at what he's doing to his own Australian citizens."
More and more New Zealanders who had lost their jobs were giving up on Australia and moving back to New Zealand, she said.