Barnaby Joyce tells Parliament he may be NZ citizen

Greens' Senator Larissa Waters makes tearful resignation over citizenship issue

Greens' Senator Larissa Waters makes tearful resignation over citizenship issue

Barnaby Joyce has referred himself to the high court in order to clarify whether or not he is a dual citizen of New Zealand.

Mr Joyce said the Solicitor-General had advised that he would not be disqualified by section 44 of the constitution.

"Last Thursday afternoon the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that on the basis of preliminary advice from their department of internal affairs which had received inquiries from the New Zealand Labor Party they considered that I may be a citizen by descent of New Zealand", Mr Joyce told Parliament.

He told parliament that he had legal advice saying he had not breached the constitution.

He'll remain Deputy Prime Minister and is already covering the portfolios of Nationals senator Matt Canavan, who has stood down from Cabinet while his own dual citizenship status is sorted out by the High Court.

In a development that threatens the Turnbull government's majority, the Nationals leader revealed on Monday morning that the New Zealand High Commission had informed him last week that he may be a New Zealand citizen.

"I've always been an Australian citizens, born in Tamworth, just as my mother and my great-grandmother was born there 100 years earlier".

"The New Zealand Government has no record of registering me as a New Zealand citizen" Mr Joyce said.

"I was born in Australia in 1967 to an Australian mother and I think I'm fifth generation".

Green Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters resigned in quick succession after the bombshell announcements that one held New Zealand citizenship and the other Canadian citizenship.

Joyce dug in on Monday, telling parliament he would not step aside while his matter was heard.

Mr Joyce said he will continue to serve as deputy leader until the High Court decides his political fate.

The Prime Minister has today written to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to invite him to "nominate any Labor members of senators whose circumstances may raise questions". "Neither my parents nor I had ever applied to register me as a New Zealand citizen". "To get yourself an NZ passport, you need to register your citizenship".

If he is found to be ineligible, the Turnbull Government - which holds a one-seat majority in the lower house - would be forced into a by-election.

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