From “the Commonwealth’s Most Dutiful Daughter” to “Young Multicultural Nation”: Non-citizen Voting Rights and New Zealand’s Citizenship Regime

  • Kate McMillan
Part of the Politics of Citizenship and Migration book series (POCM)


In the mid-1970s, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia all ceased using “British subject” as a criterion for national voting rights. In all three countries, this represented a decisive step away from the British imperial model of political community towards a nationally constituted one. Unlike Australia and Canada, however, New Zealand did not replace “British subject” with national citizenship criterion; it simply removed “British subject”, leaving the existing residency requirement intact. New Zealand became – and remains – the only country in the world to allocate national voting rights to all permanent resident non-citizens after one years’ residence. This was a radical decision with far-reaching implications for the incorporation of immigrants into the national political community


British Subject Citizenship Permanent Residents Non-Citizens Immigrants Voting 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate McMillan
    • 1
  1. 1.PoliticsVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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