Under Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangements (TTTA) announced by the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers in 1973, Australian and New Zealand citizens who present no health or character concerns can visit, live and work in either country indefinitely and without restrictions—a benefit Australia has not conferred on any other nation. The Special Category Visa (SCV) under which New Zealanders can enter is, however, a temporary visa, and has been since its introduction on 1 September 1994. The SCV is intended to facilitate trans-Tasman travel and labour mobility. Australian citizens living in New Zealand are considered permanent residents on arrival in New Zealand.
TTTA is not a binding bilateral treaty but operates as a string of procedures in the immigration policies of both countries. It is linked to the Australia – New Zealand Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement, however, through an endorsement in the preamble of the objective of freedom of travel within the free-trade area, for both labour market and social reasons.
Access to government services and benefits in each country is not specified in the TTTA. These are the subject of separate bi-lateral agreements and legislation in each country—more information at the Department of Immigration. More information on benefits at the Department of Human Services.