The move follows a successful trial of criminal history information sharing between Queensland and New Zealand. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be developed to expand the trial to all Australian states and to all eligible Australian and New Zealand organisations.
Australian Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis QC, made the announcement this week with New Zealand's Minister of Justice, Judith Collins, who said, “This is particularly important for positions that involve working with children and vulnerable people to help protect our communities from people who may pose a risk.” Senator Brandis added that at any one time there are approximately 600,000 New Zealanders in Australia.
Minister Collins said that New Zealand and Australian employers often need criminal history checks from both countries to make fully informed employment decisions.
“As the movement of workers between Australia and New Zealand has grown it makes sense that employers in both Australia and New Zealand have access to the type of background information that is available for local workers,” Senator Brandis said.
The existing trial allowed participating employers to request criminal history checks on behalf of job candidates who had given consent.
Australian and New Zealand employers are to have greater access to respective national criminal history checks for employment vetting purposes.