Government hits back at Labor with High Court threat

From left Scott Ludlam Larissa Waters and Matthew Canavan have been affected by Section 44

So it was probably no surprise that Mr Joyce's citizenship snafu - which is bound for Australia's High Court - generated clamour of its own.

Canavan, whose case is now being reviewed by the High Court in Australia, said his mother-who herself was not born in Italy-signed him up for Italian citizenship when he was 25 without him knowing.

Mr Joyce's dismissal - on the grounds that he is a dual citizen, which is forbidden by the constitution - would mean that the ruling conservative coalition would lose its one seat majority in the House of Representatives.

"Imagine if a New Zealand MP commissioned someone in Australia to ask questions about New Zealand politics". Should there be a change of government, I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations created to undermine the government of Australia, ' she told reporters on Tuesday.

Well, remember that excruciating video of the actress and her then-husband Johnny Depp apologising for illegally bringing their pet dogs into Australia?

While Australian and NZ politicians are exchanging terse words about how Joyce's dual citizenship came to light, Heard made fun of his predicament on Twitter.

The ALP's involvement has angered Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who said she would have trouble trusting a New Zealand Labour should they form government.

During the debate over the dogs, Mr Joyce stressed that the actors would not receive special treatment due to their high profile, and must obey the law. "You know, when you nominate for Parliament, there is actually a question - you have got to address that Section 44 question and you've got to tick the box and confirm that you are not a citizen of another country".

Before we could all absorb that uncharacteristic burst of partisan impetuousness from Australia's normally highly professional foreign minister, we were in question time and, evidently, the government's brains trust had required backbenchers to double down by asking questions about foreign state interference in Australian political matters.

A tweet from the Northern Territory News harked back to the long list of Kiwi icons claimed by Australia.

The office of New Zealand Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne confirmed to the Australian media that under New Zealand's law, a child born to a New Zealand national is automatically given citizenship.

Australia's opposition has mocked Ms Bishop's claims, accusing her of a "Kiwis under the bed scare campaign".

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop accused NZ Labour of trying to undermine the Australian Government.

'I find that extraordinary, her closest, most trusted adviser, her chief of contacting a sitting Labour member in New Zealand and the shadow foreign minister doesn't know about it?

New Zealand officials said queries from Australian journalists prompted last week's discovery about Mr Joyce's status.

Amber Heard is having the last laugh.



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