The announcement today that New Zealanders will now have a direct pathway to citizenship in Australia is a monumental success that should be celebrated and congratulated. 

Since the 2001 agreement between Prime Ministers John Howard and Helen Clark, successive New Zealand governments have worked hard on getting these changes through. This announcement is a culmination of those decades of negotiations and hard work. 

The relationship between our two countries is very unique and a very special one. These changes go a long way to recognising that relationship and the value we place on the citizens of each of our countries. 

Despite the criticisms, if we want to keep New Zealanders in New Zealand, there are no shortcuts, we must focus on building our economy and country to ensure they stay - as we did just a few short decades ago.