In a year of big stories, we look back at one from July that drew the most attention from our readers - that of racial discrimination experienced by a Kiwi couple in Australia.
New Zealand couple Charles and Judith Cairns residing in Perth are taking ANZ
to court for selling them a life insurance policy which is has no worth because they don’t hold Australian citizenship, RNZ News reported.
The Cairns’ intend to take their case to the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board after a ruling from the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal that they have a case to take.
Cairns was beyond belief when a financial planner pointed out last year that they wouldn’t receive any payout because they are not citizens or permanent residents – they had already parted with $20,000 in premiums over nine years on a $200,000 policy.
"Can you imagine if I passed away, or any New Zealander, the husband passed away, and the wife goes and gets the life insurance and they only paid it out what you have paid in there," he said.
"It just tears your guts out. Imagine your partner being stuck with no money."
According to RNZ News, ANZ
is not revealing how many other expat New Zealanders with special category visas (SCV) are in the same situation.
Mr Cairns is continuing to take legal action against the bank “for all the other Kiwis”, and the couple has requested a public apology, even though ANZ
subsidiary OnePath refunding their premiums and, under pressure, offering him a new policy.
"If I had of taken their policy, they would've told me to zip my mouth. It's actually for all the other Kiwis that are out there in the same situation I would be in.
"For all Kiwis. You know, really, we have been treated like second-class citizens," Mr Cairns said. "I thought that was wrong."
David Faulkner, who has fought for the Cairns' for the last year says the issue occurs all the time.
"I've had this happen to me four times. Only late last year I settled with another major Australian insurer out of court when I was denied travel insurance on a very similar basis.
"We will be asking the tribunal [board] to spell it out, that you simply cannot deny insurance to New Zealanders residing here permanently under the trans-tasman travel arrangements - if you do so you will be breaking the law.
"This time we will be asking that it is decisively dealt with so that it never happens again."
did not respond to RNZ News request for comments.