Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce tells parliament that he could be a New Zealand citizen.
Speaking in Parliament, Joyce said the New Zealand officials were prompted to look into it by queries from the NZ Labour Party, although Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has since confirmed officials were first prompted by an Australian journalist rather than Hipkins.
The development could cost Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull his one-seat majority in the House of Representatives and require him to depend on the support of independent MPs.
The Labor opposition said Mr Joyce must stand aside because his eligibility was under question.
Mr Joyce told Parliament he was born in Tamworth in 1967 to an Australian mother and was fifth generation Australian.
After Joyce led a veritable crusade against Heard and her then-husband, Johnny Depp, for failing to declare their two dogs, Pistol and Boo, at Australia's airports (something you may remember ended in a horribly cringe-worthy "apology video"), Heard has gotten the last laugh.
Last Thursday afternoon the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that on the basis of preliminary advice from the Dept of Internal Affairs, which received inquiries from the New Zealand Labour Party, they considered that I may be a citizen by decent of New Zealand.
"I'm referring to Bill Shorten using a foreign political party to raise questions in a foreign parliament deliberately created to undermine confidence in the Australian Government".
"Neither my parents nor I have ever applied to register me as a New Zealand citizen".
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The government has questioned whether Labor MPs Susan Lamb, Tony Zappia, Justine Keay and Maria Vamvakinou are all eligible to sit in the parliament under Section 44 of the Constitution, which prohibits parliamentarians from holding dual citizenship.
Mr Joyce again refused this morning to stand aside as Deputy Prime Minister.
"New Zealand is facing an election".
The issue has turned into a political fight in New Zealand five weeks out from the September 23 election, with NZ prime minister Bill English accusing Hipkins of interfering in Australian politics.
The Government has taken legal advice from the Solicitor-General - on the basis of the Solicitor-General's advice, the Government is of the firm view that I would not be found to be disqualified by the operation of s44 (1) of the Constitution from serving as the Member for New England.
"I have also been clear that those questions were not appropriate".
Along with the Barnaby Joyce case, the High Court is considering the cases of two resigned Greens senators - Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters - as well as LNP Senator Matt Canavan and One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts, who are both remaining in their jobs until the cases have been heard.
That prompted Mr Turnbull to ramp up the rhetoric against Labor over the citizenship saga.
However, he thought Mr Joyce would retain the seat at a by-election.
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