- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 31 March 2020, 7:47AM
Australians dissatisfied with the leadership of Prime Minister Scott Morrison are banding together to call for New Zealand to annex Australia so the country can be under Jacinda Ardern's leadership.
A map dubbing Australia "New New Zealand" has gone viral on social media, alongside a call for Australia to "surrender to New Zealand immediately".
"Due to appalling lack of leadership here, and superb leadership over there, let's surrender Australia to New Zealand immediately," Scott Battersby, from Australia, posted on Facebook.
"Have them annex us and take control of our government. North Island, South Island, Big Island #newnewzealand Share away everyone ... let's get this done."
The post has been shared more than 18,000 times since it was first published on three days ago.
It has also received nearly 7,000 reactions.
In the comments, Australians support the mode to become part of New Zealand, although many say they would rather rename Australia "West New Zealand or the "West Island", as many already refer to it as that, in jest.
New Zealanders in the comments seem, for the most part, welcoming of their Australian brothers and sisters.
The post sparked further debate about how Australia is treating New Zealanders in the wake of the pandemic.
New Zealanders in Australia have been shut out of the Covid-19 welfare package, despite many of them working and paying taxes in the country for years.
Last week, the Australian Federal Government unveiled a raft of measures in a bid to stimulate Australia's coronavirus-hit economy, including a $750 payout and a "coronavirus supplement" of $550 a fortnight for those who've recently lost their jobs.
But New Zealand citizens aren't eligible for these payouts, even if they've been in Australia for years.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has asked Scott Morrison to grant Kiwis in Australia the same rights New Zealand grants Australians living here.
Her request has so far not been granted but Ardern says she will continue to monitor the situation.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission