Barnaby Joyce admits he may be a New Zealand citizen

Barnaby Joyce admits he may be a New Zealand citizen

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has told parliament he may be a citizen of New Zealand.

Under section 44 (i) of the Australian constitution, election to public office is ruled out for: "Any person who is under any acknowledgement of allegiance obedience or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power".

Notably, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hasn't asked Joyce to stand down from his role while the High Court investigates.

"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 s. 44 (i) of the Constitution from serving as the Member for New England, ' Mr Joyce said in a statement".

The deputy prime minister is not on any list of New Zealand citizens but because his father was born there he is considered by the NZ government, in preliminary advice, to be a citizen.

The New Zealand High Commission apparently contacted him last week to advise he may by a citizen by descent.

Mr Joyce dropped the bombshell in Parliament at 10am Monday.

Joyce is now the fifth federal politician whose citizenship will be assessed by the High Court.

"Neither my parents nor I have ever applied to register me as a New Zealand citizen".

Joyce was born in Australia.

The High Court is now considering the futures of five MPs: Mr Joyce, Senator Canavan, former Greens Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters and One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts. Just as my mother and my great grandmother was born there 100 years earlier.

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".

He said his father was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia in 1947 "as a British subject - in fact we were all British subjects at that time".

If so, Mr Turnbull suggested they, too, be referred to the High Court, so there were no more surprises.

Several senators have resigned or are facing scrutiny over their citizenship status.