25 May 2013

Australian cutbacks may hurt some Maori beneficiaries

5:46 pm on 25 May 2013

A Maori migration expert says some Maori beneficiaries living in Australia will be the ones most vulnerable to the cutbacks announced in the Australian government's budget this month.

Canberra was hoping to deliver a budget surplus this year, but it found a $12 billion hole in the country's finances and has had to tighten its belt.

Paul Hamer of Te Kawa a Maui the School of Maori Studies at Victoria University says New Zealand beneficiaries who depend on the family tax benefit will be feeling the pinch.

He says that before the budget the federal government was talking about raising the benefit - which is one of the few things New Zealanders who haven't been able to obtain a permanent visa, and who arrived after 2001, are entitled to.

But Mr Hamer says the proposed increase to that benefit has been withdrawn and families facing tough times who rely on it will be affected the most.