Citizenship as Humanitarian Relief: The Case of Roland Kun
(2017) 27 New Zealand Universities Law Review
22 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2018
Date Written: November 30, 2017
The decision of New Zealand’s Minister of Internal Affairs, in June 2016, to grant New Zealand citizenship to Nauruan politician Roland Kun (in order to bring to an end his persecution by the Nauruan government) was premised on a fundamental change in the Department of Internal Affairs’ interpretation of the statutory test governing grants of citizenship in special circumstances - Citizenship Act 1977, s 9(1)(c). This change of practice has opened the way for citizenship to be granted based on an applicant's exceptional humanitarian circumstances.
This article outlines and defends that change, and explores the extent of its significance for future applicants.
Keywords: citizenship, humanitarian circumstances, Nauru, Citizenship Act 1977, public interest
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