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Australia's government accuses New Zealand of 'conspiring' against it

16 August 2017

A Trans-Tasman stoush has erupted over the surprise news that Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen.

Mr Joyce said he was "shocked" when he received the news from the New Zealand High Commission, adding: "I have always been an Australian citizen".

Depp's ex-wife Amber Heard, who kept the dogs after they split, was revelling in his discomfort, tweeting Tuesday "when Barnaby Joyce said "no one is above the law", I didn't realise he meant New Zealand law'".

"The government is engaging in conspiracy theories, we don't need to engage in them", Mr Shorten told Labor MPs in a partyroom meeting today.

Yesterday, Joyce became the latest in a string of sitting politicians to be rocked by revelations of dual-citizenship with other countries, which is grounds for immediate disqualification from Federal Parliament, under section 44 of the... y'know...

The dual citizenship crisis kicked off in July when the minor Greens party's co-deputy leader Scott Ludlam resigned after revealing he had dual Australian-New Zealand citizenship.

Allegations were raised in a New Zealand Parliament deliberately designed by the Labor in Australia to undermine confidence in the Australian government.

Senator Wong said her chief of staff Marcus Ganley had informal discussions with New Zealand friends about Australian political issues including citizenship. His case must now go in front of Australia's High Court.

"Should there be a change of government, I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations created to undermine the government of Australia", she told reporters in Canberra.

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Hipkins, in a parliamentary question last week, asked the NZ internal affairs minister whether a child born in Australia to a Kiwi father would automatically have citizenship.

New Zealand's election is next month.

In spite of everything, Nick Economou, senior lecturer in Australian politics at Monash University, told CNN he was sure the Australia New Zealand relationship would be able to withstand the current diplomatic tiff.

"I am sick of hearing in the halls of this parliament who might have dual citizenship and who might not", she said. Joyce threatened to have the Yorkshire terriers euthanized after saying they were smuggled into Australia in 2014 where Depp was filming the fifth installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie series.

New Zealand officials said queries from Australian journalists prompted last week's discovery about Joyce's status.

The reactions to her sweet, sweet revenge have been just as good.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would find it "very hard" to trust a Labour government in New Zealand now.

It's is baffling, then, that prospective politicians - those who wish to make a difference to the society in which they grew up - may be ineligible for being a dual citizen.

Australia's government accuses New Zealand of 'conspiring' against it