“Extend the Amnesty” – A strategy for Immigration reform

By   /   May 5, 2017  /   21 Comments

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Unionists and other progressive minded people need to put a stake in the ground in opposition to the latest immigration proposals from the government.


Unionists and other progressive minded people need to put a stake in the ground in opposition to the latest immigration proposals from the government.

Tens of thousands of workers in this country have been brought here under false pretences. Many have been conned into paying tens of thousands of dollars towards courses that they hoped would open the door to jobs and the chance for permanent residence.

The promises have proved to be nothing more than a fraud perpetrated by the government.

These students and workers had the rules changed on them after they arrived. Many have studied and worked here for up to a decade.

The government has now increased the points required to get permanent residence under the skilled worker category and imposed a minimum income requirement of $50,000 that many will not be able to meet. Those who don’t meet the new requirements will have a maximum of three years before they are kicked out.

At the same time, the government is proposing to continue bringing temporary work visa holders for lower skilled and lower paid occupations but for a maximum of three years and no right to bring family members.

This will most likely lead to either a massive drop in numbers coming or those who do being so desperate they will be wide open to abuse and exploitation.

In their plan the government has made a proposal for what they have called an “amnesty” for a group of workers in the South Island as a one-off pathway to residency for around 4,000 temporary migrant workers and their families.

In the words of Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse:

“Many of these migrants are already well settled in New Zealand and make a valuable contribution to their communities.

“It will also enable employers to retain an experienced workforce that has helped meet genuine regional labour market needs.

“My National colleagues in the South Island have advocated strongly on behalf their constituents throughout the development of this policy, so I’m pleased the Government has been able to deliver on our commitment to enable this cohort of migrant workers to remain in their communities.”

Many of these workers will be working on Dairy farms run by National Party stalwarts who have lobbied their MP’s to keep these workers.

The “Amnesty” being allowed these workers from the requirement to meet the new points or income thresholds for permanent residence should be extended to the whole country. The restrictions in the current amnesty proposal to bind workers to particular employers should also be removed. This is a form of bonded labour that needs to be got rid of as part of any genuine immigration reform.

Parties that want to reduce the number of permanent and long-term net arrivals to New Zealand from the current 70,000 plus number can also support this humanitarian policy towards those already here.

There are currently around 250,000 temporary work visas issued each year.

It makes no sense to throw out people who want to stay and have invested a significant part of their lives to creating homes in this country while continuing to bring in people on temporary visas only to throw them out again after three years.

The new policies are inhuman.

Extend the Amnesty to all workers on temporary visas who want to make New Zealand their home.

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About the author

Mike Treen

National Director of Unite Union


  1. Castro says:

    A lunatic idea; progressive minded New Zealanders should put vulnerable New Zealanders first, how about focusing your efforts on the homeless Kiwis living in cars, garages and sleeping rough on the streets? 30% of the population being foreign-born is already insanely too high, and the only outcome from neo-colonial immigration levels is going to be widespread social unrest, misery and violence; how very progressive, indeed.

    • Once ..whatever says:

      What a surprise @Castro that you’ve leapt into this debate so quickly (/not).
      I’m looking back through various other contributions you’ve made (such as here: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/04/29/meeting-to-discuss-plight-of-people-on-work-and-student-visas-2/ ), as well as a bit of friction between you and Frank.
      I’m left wondering whether or not you might not just be a bit too ego driven whilst being utterly ‘fik’ and uncritical in thought, because you’re becoming an advocate of the double standard and the foreskin of a bogan attempting a re-image of his mullet by applying an number 1 to the sides. But then you’re probably more likely to be an attempt at a Fidel lookalike.
      Christ I’d love to meet you in person (btw, I don’t go on Facebook or dating sites), because you’re such an absolute hero

      • Sam Sam says:

        Castro mate. You’re giving revolution a bad name. Have you ecen fired shots in anger? Or are you just trying to out angle white helmts

  2. Mike in Auckland says:

    “Tens of thousands of workers in this country have been brought here under false pretences. Many have been conned into paying tens of thousands of dollars towards courses that they hoped would open the door to jobs and the chance for permanent residence.

    The promises have proved to be nothing more than a fraud perpetrated by the government.”

    Well, yes and no, the government uses smart lawyers who advise them, paid by us taxpayers, so they draw up laws, regulations and rules that are leaving sufficient back-doors open for the government, also in immigration.

    When you read the Immigration NZ website, there is NO guarantee offered for anything, they only talk about the ability of people to apply for visas, and for making applications for residency.

    There is NO obligation on the side of the government, they can even in some cases cancel Permanent Residence.

    The ones who have done more cheating, misleading and selling unrealistic dreams have been some dishonest immigration consultants here and overseas, some private training institutes and the likes, same as some employers, who love the new, vulnerable immigrants, all desperate to prove themselves.

    An amnesty of sorts may not be the right way, but at least a timely transition must be offered for those already here, with student visas, and hopeful to apply for residency.

    Given them a chance to apply up to a certain time, and consider them under the to be abolished rules, to grant visas and perhaps PR.

    As for being cheated, what about the millions of voters, who vote in governments every three years, and then have them make flip flops and turncoat type decisions, when in government, and betray the very voters that voted them in?

    What compensation or “amnesty” will they be given, when it affects them negatively what the government may introduce or change in the law? What remedies are they given?

    We can carry on with many other issues in the same fashion, many people have been betrayed, cheated and conned, again and again, those that still trust the government are either the minority beneficiaries of their rule, or they are so brainwashed and/or ignorant, they deserve little pity for being so foolish.

    The public has never really been properly consulted on immigration policy, as parties are always voted in on a package of promises and policies, not allowing single issues being discussed openly and inclusively, hence we have this whole mess and debate.

    It may be time to frankly and objectively discuss immigration for the future years, and perhaps even allow a referendum of sorts.

    • Once ..whatever says:

      I can’t disagree with anything you say @ MiA, (well almost) but I’m not about to let the arseholes who’ve designed this system that exploits not only the immigrants who’ve been lied to, but fellow Koiwois …. off the hook.
      To do so just lets them start another round of bullshit where exploitation and ticket clipping and driving down the already downtrodden becomes the Norman Normal (aka Castro Normal)

  3. David says:

    Mike, if you are looking for compassion, you are appealing to wrong crowd.
    To appeal to progressives you need to go for identity politics. Call them refugees or use a new term , vulnerable young strivers or something like that. Give equivalence to the situation of Kiwis in Oz.

    While progressives can use xenophobia to beat the National government for this election. You are just going to get hostile reactions.

    • Sam Sam says:

      Mate. Have you learnt nothing from Trump/brexit/Le Pen.

      If you promise jobs and dont delever after 40 years………… Are you getting the picture?

      Globalisation is dead. Not even Uncle Clark or the great satan tony blair could put together a rescue package.

      Any one even thinking about bailing out the 1% from here on out does not value his head.

      • david says:

        Like i said, expecting compassion from people like you is a lost cause. See that you are sympathetic to Trump and Le Pen.

  4. David says:

    Also saying that Nationals’ policies will cause a huge decrease in migrants is counter productive. That is not what is Labour is trying to say. Their message is foreign hordes are taking our jobs and homes. And National is doing nothing about it.

    I agree that what you say is true but politics isn’t about the truth.

    • Sam Sam says:

      Are you calling people like me redundant because ur a dick

      • david says:

        Who’s saying you will become reductant? Unemployment <5%. Is someone stoking fear within you? Little's campaign must be working.

        • Actually, David whilst the “official” unemployment rate is 4.9%, that rate has only been achieved because Stats NZ has ‘re-jigged’ the figures: https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/2016-ongoing-jobless-tally/

          As such, the current measurement of unemployment in New Zealand is no longer wholly reliable.

          • david says:

            What’s your figure Frank? I prefer work force participation rates as it removes those who have stopped looking for work. This impacts the European countries more who have attrocious work force participation rates and high unemployment rates.
            NZ has near record work force participation rates. I think we in beginnings of a wage/interest rate spiral.

          • Takere says:

            140,000 on the JobSeeker Bene, NEET’s 92,000 & then surprise, surprise the “Non-Bene category where they are in receipt of a Bene but not counted in either of the above categories! 23,000.
            256,000 Unemployed. MSD Website.

      • Once ..whatever says:

        No David is just trying to be pregmetuk

  5. saveNZ says:

    Who pays for all this ‘relaxation’?

    Some innocent party further down the line, now cheating is ok too, apparently.


    Time to say, thanks but no thanks.

    It’s not worth being a 2nd world provider of visas for the 2nd world students in hospitality, low level IT and fake trade skills.

    It’s not that efficient passing people who can’t do the job and having them compete against 50 other workers for that minimum wage job that they cheated to pass and can’t actually do. But nobody knows that until it’s too late.

    Anyone doing anything these days, finds that about 50% of people can’t do what ever the job is. The other 50% can’t even make a decision and when they do, it’s wrong.

    It’s both kiwis and migrants by the way, because of all that ‘relaxation’ of the education system and competition for jobs – the cheapest, smoothest talking and stupidest are being promoted. (The rest leave the country). Then the group think happens and they keep hiring people like themselves as a cultural fit and nobody knows who’s the fucked up one.

    I recommend the movie ‘office space’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm_hDKXibpc It helps identify the early stages but we are now is a far worse post office space world.

    Competition does not work, if more than half the competition is incompetent because it costs time and money to wade through them all and rectify the mistakes. Most of the consultants are incompetent. Most of the time people just cover it up.

    Again, if you get passed over for a job again and again, maybe you start to feel depressed and hopeless, which is how Bill English describes our youth?

    Local people need real jobs and our country needs to look after them first.

    We need to stop importing workers and start creating job opportunities to make jobs that mean something.

    We have a shortage of fucking jobs at a liveable wage!!! Why should the answer be, importing in more people to compete for jobs who are just as useless as the locals but often with less english, because under neoliberalism it’s about profit and they are all training at increasingly 3rd rate providers who’s funding comes from bums on seats.

    Then the dimwits start complain about the fucking shortage of houses and public transport and pollution??

    Meanwhile all those cows are poohing as they milk.

    It’s crazy!! Less people and more competent ones are needed not more people and less competent ones!

    I don’t care what ethnicity anyone is, They could be blue and white and from Siberia, but we just don’t have the jobs for locals and creating a ponzi scheme around low waged jobs around fake education, construction of prisons, malls and retirement villages and cows that seem to lose money 50% of the time, is just morally wrong.

  6. Mike in Auckland says:

    Mike Treen presents us this position, knowing full well, that at the many work places he represents as union leader, close to half of workers are immigrant workers, hence his strong stand for their interests. So I am not the least surprised. Whether it is in the interest of born and bred NZers, and others who settled here a while ago, that is another question, only voters in the coming general election can and will deliver.

    • Once ..whatever says:

      That’s probably true Mike. But what it fails to take account of is that its a system that’s working as designed, and one has (through exploitation of those enslaved from offshore) has enabled that ‘NZer’ to become redundant.
      Rather than blame, penalise and ‘other’ the immigrant, and indulge in Manus Island tactics, why not just accept we (NZ Inc.) have been total cunts (or dikheads if you prefer); accept that we’ve allowed experience and expertise to be transferred to them; and now allow them to stay and assist us in resurrecting something that could be pretty bloody decent

      (Block your ears @Castro – your slip is showing, and you could develop a hernia – shit! even a heart attack – if you read this comment without having an understanding, or any idea of context)

    • keepcalmcarryon says:

      Mike Treen is doing a great job advocating against New Zealands own interests while flying the Unite flag.
      Its a shame he’s further burying the union movement.
      Kiwi jobs first in New Zealand, its not rocket science.

      Who would have thought we would come full circle and have a uinion for overseas scab labour?

  7. Mike in Auckland says:

    I have learned a lot about this and more, it is a real worry, and immigrants are targeted also, to fall for this:

  8. Mike in Auckland says:

    Today, the two leading news TV channels reported on this person and his business, taking advantage of divorcees, of others in vulnerable positions, to push them to sell properties, all part of an agenda or sellable plan for those signing up with him:

    There is NO mention of the issue on his website, even TVNZ and Newshub have cowardly stopped from linking to the news, we suspect due to commercial pressure in advertising and so, and we get NO real info, but through the ambigious news headlines from those channels.

    So we are exposed to self serving media bias yet again, the two main TV stations in NZ stopping from publishing stuff, except from what was reported at the very news bulletion. So we are actually moving fast to a commercially dominated DICTATORSHIP here in N inc, you better damned believe it.

    Perhaps try this:


    Do you believe this sorry so story from this one?


    When do Kiwis fucking stand up for themselves and their rights again, and not bend over backwards for such SHIT, there are better property rights people have in countries like Germany, Austria, Holland and many other places, but here, why are you such cowards and put up wiith all this ShIT?