Meeting to discuss plight of people on work and student visas


Public Meeting, 6pm, Monday, May 1, Unitarian Church, 1a Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland City.
– Sponsored by Unite Union; Migrant Workers Association; Global Peace and Justice Auckland

The government changes to the immigration rules are creating a great deal of misery for many workers and students in this country from overseas who have come under different rules and have had their hopes and dreams for the future dashed.

A number of industries have a significant percentage of their workforces here on temporary work visas. Significant damage will be done to employment in these industries which will have a negative impact on the economy and jobs for all people living in this country.

The government has created an exemption for the mostly dairy farm workers in the South Island to access permanent residence. We believe that there needs to be consideration given to extending this amnesty far more broadly to allow people to access residency who have made this country their home.

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It is unfair to change the rules on people half way through a process in which many have invested huge sums of money and time in study courses, job searches, and establishing homes for themselves and their families.

If you are concerned about these immigration changes and the human damage they will impose then come along to a meeting to discuss these issues and establish a plan to oppose them

Come to a meeting at the Unitarian Church, 6pm, Monday, May 1, 1a Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland City.


  1. Neo-colonial immigration levels are damaging the hopes and dreams of Kiwis born in New Zealand, though you seem to care more about foreign workers than New Zealanders living in cars and trees; you should call David Seymour from the ACT Party; your rhetoric and his seem to have a lot in common.

    • NZ citizenship is a great gift and we should be making sure that every person we give it to is of benefit to NZ or is a refugee.

      However, to change the rules suddenly on a whole group of people who have spent a whole lot of money and time and who came here in good faith is appalling. National should have given people who came here under the old rules time to complete citizenship under the rules.

      Immigrants should be treated fairly and humanely.

  2. Sure seems it reading these posts of Mr Treen’s, Castro, doesnt it.

    If its a matter of social conscience , how about correcting the social injustices in China (Falun gong, organ harvesting etc) or India (lingering caste system, womens issues etc) before supporting their often well to do children here lowering wages for kiwis.

  3. Hmmmm… try this :

    Its election year, and Guyon Espiner has just interviewed Jeny Shipley,..

    For further information on how New Zealanders have been played like violins…

    Have a read of this :

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?

    ”In the fourth Labour Government, real power lay in the hands of Douglas and his two closest associates in the cabinet, Richard Prebble and David Caygill. Prime Minister David Lange was just a figurehead, as New Zealand News financial columnist Warick Berryman told a journalist from the Executive Intelligence Review at the time, “As far as the business community goes, Lange is basically irrelevant. Roger Douglas is running the place. Make no mistake about that. He is doing anything in this country that has any real meaning… Lange’s more of a sideshow. He keeps the rabble amused, while Douglas, Prebble and Caygill get on with actually running the place.”
    To help implement Douglas’ programme, the Labour government called an “economic summit” in 1985, chaired by Sir Ron Trotter, chairman of the Fletcher Challenge corporation. By early the following year, Trotter revamped an existing business group which he chaired, known as the Business Roundtable, to become a high-power lobby for “free market” reforms. And high power it was: firms associated with the Roundtable had a total capitalisation of $15.4 billion, representing 64% of the value of the New Zealand share market! Directors of the Roundtable companies sat on the boards of over 100 other New Zealand corporations.
    As the New Zealand Herald of 12 Nov. 1986 observed, about the Roundtables clout: “Among them, these men help control 76% of the country’s newspaper circulation, the bulk of the private radio stations, the biggest bank, the biggest exporters of meat and horticultural produce, the biggest rural servicing conglomerate, the three biggest forestry companies, the two biggest supermarket chains, both brewery companies, and a sizeable chunk of the rest of the manufacturing, finance and other sectors.” Very shortly, Roundtable members involved in manufacturing quit in disgust, and the group became a puppet of the finance sector.
    Trotter was its chairman, but the real engine of the Business Roundtable was the former Treasury official who had drafted all the proposed “reforms” in the first place: Roger Kerr. Trotter picked Kerr as the Roundtable’s new executive director and installed him in Fletcher Challenge House in Wellington, right across the hall from Trotter’s own office.
    Regarding the significance of Kerr’s appointment, Prime minister David Lange told the New Zealand Sunday times on 18 January, 1987, that the Roundtable had played down Kerr’s appointment because “they’re cunning. There is now a well researched, well presented effective business group calling itself the Roundtable and it was an event of some significance that it moved beyond an informal coalition of interests to a structured organization with the appointment of that director, which was a really significant move.”
    It certainly was: Roger Kerr was one of only three New Zealand members of the Mont Pelerin Society!
    Through the unceasing torrent of “studies” it commissioned from one Mont Pelerin think tank or another, each of which called for an utter dismantling of the New Zealand economy, including its healthcare and educational systems, Kerr’s Business Roundtable quickly became the Mont Pelerin Society’s most powerful front group in New Zealand.
    And, though it proclaimed its altruism, the Roundtable’s individual and corporate members were the overwhelming beneficiaries of the destruction of the economy which they so ferociously advocated. Firms associated with the Business Roundtable ended up with $12.542 billion of the $15.233 billion in privatised former state assets!
    But the Roundtables weren’t the only ones to cash in. Many of the cabal of Treasury and Reserve Bank “public servants”who had pushed the changes – like Kerr himself – took up lucrative posts in merchant banks, the new State Owned Enterprises (Shoes), or in the Roundtable itself. Besides Kerr, a notorious case was his old tutor in economics at Victoria University, Dr. Roderick Deane, who had in fact recommended his former pupil for the Roundtable post in the first place. As number two at the Reserve Bank, former IMF official Deane had ceaselessly pushed the IMF/Mont Pelerin agenda. After leaving the Reserve bank, Deane in 1986-1987 chaired the State Services Commission, which oversaw the corporatisation/privatisation process of former state assets; in 1997 he was pulling down approximately $1 million a year in salary as the chief executive of one of those privatised assets, the phone system, Telecom. Meanwhile, another shameless displays of cronyism, the Treasury and the Reserve Bank poured tens of millions of dollars in “consulting fees”into businesses dominated by their former colleagues, for reports on how to further dismantle the economy.
    In 1987, when Labour once again faced election, the Roundtablers poured in the money to keep them in power. According to the account of Equiticorp’s Allan Hawkins, later sent to jail for fraudulently funding his company’s purchase of NZ Steel in 1987, he, and at least several other top businessmen, each gave $250,000 to Roger Douglas, personally, to help secure Labour’s victory. The money bought a massive, slick advertising campaign with which Labour overrode the growing discontent with the “reforms”, and returned to power.

    Mont Pelerin on the Left…. Mont Pelerin on the Right
    By 1990, when a population disgusted with being the guinea pigs for the most radical free market experiment in the Western world, clearly intended to kick the Labour Party out of office, the Mont Pelerinites moved to secure their “revolution.” According to economist David Steele, writing in the March/April 1990 edition of the PSA Journal, shortly before the election, a three man delegation from the Business Roundtable, two of whom were Mont Pelerin members Gibbs and Kerr, met with National Party leader, and soon to be Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, to “request” that Ruth Richardson, a Mont Pelerin asset, be made Finance Minister in his new government. She was, and Mont Pelerins revolution escalated’, as Richardson and the Nationals – again, under cover of a “crisis”suddenly discovered by the treasury – rammed through the Mont Pelerin Society programme of “labour market reforms,” which even Roger Douglas had not been able to do. Such “reforms”effectively end trade unionism as it had been known in New Zealand for decades. Indeed, the infamous Employment Contract Act did not even mention the word “trade union”once.
    Mont Pelerin Society member Gibbs, the close friend and early tutor of Roger Douglas in economics, cashed in handsomely on “Rogernomics”; over the years of the “reform” he and the Mont Pelerin Society had imposed on New Zealand, Gibbs’ personal wealth had soared from $46 million in 1986 to $200 million by 1998, making him the 4th richest person in New Zealand at the time. ”

  4. @Mike Treen:
    In light of your previous article and some of the comments from those who profess to come from that “LEFT broad church”, there are some things I have difficulty in reconciling.

    – We (Aotearoa NZ aka NZ INC OF LIMITED LIABILITY) design an immigration system that exploits workers, enables scams without much penalty to its perpetrators but which penalises its victims. It provides the mechanism to exploit and play people off against one

    – We (that “LEFT”) chant various slogans such as solidarity; how capitalism, the elite, unscrupulous employers are oppressing us; the value of community; the social over the economic, etc etc etc. We even indulge in the same insular bubbles we protest the RIGHT and
    the fascists are guilty of.

    – We (the parents of Kiwi children) expect that they (and us) should be allowed to undertake the big O.E.if they want to, take advantage of higher value currenicies, and experience “the world”. Even that they should be allowed to marry other nationalities, have children, and settle down back at home when ready, or when things get tough.

    – We decry those bloody racist Okkers, breaking U.N. conventions, labelling people as queue jumpers and boat people, and express concern at the way they lock people up and attempt to outsource their responsibilities.

    – We moan about the inequity in the way Kiwis are treated in Australia compared with the way we treat Australians in NZ.

    – YET having been party to the NZ INC. system that exploits, degrades and enables all that to occur (including the slave labour on fishing vessels in ‘our waters’, or forced prostitution, or that bloody capitalist indebtedness that has been inflicted on us) – these
    bloody immigrants affected by it are ‘OTHERS’ and not worthy of our support.
    We cannot even see that the recent immigration changes announced are cynical and designed to keep exploitation, ticket clipping and a (sometimes very) shoddy export education sector
    going on a 3 year cycle. We’ll even establish a pecking order (as you allude to) making some of these ‘bloody immigrants’ special cases that are somehow different from others elsewhere even if they’re from the same circumstances – including many ‘of OUR own’.

  5. The treatment of migrant workers in New Zealand is the greatest scandal of the first half of the 21st century – nothing but the reintroduction and normalization of slavery. Let’s not make it the greatest scandal of the second half. Don’t let the racists take this issue over. Keep fighting. Good on you, Mike. And be careful who is sitting across from you, mate.

    • Thanks “Craigcrabstyle and Mike Treen, and The Weatherman.
      Another thing I’m finding a little hard to reconcile is that NZ is facing a number of ‘economic’ and criminal refugees – that is, Kiwis from Australia. We’re special of course, based on an ANZAC “spirit” that gets trotted out once a year, and that hasn’t really existed for nearly 20 years.
      Apparently that’s horrendous (and it is), yet the ‘economic’ refugees NZ has created in its pursuit of the almighty dollar and export earnings based on the exploitation of people is “different”. We can now just chuck ’em out and return them “home”.
      Serious indebtedness created in and by NZ, promises broken in and by NZers, corruption and ticket-clipping in and by NZers.
      We should be very proud of ourselves (not). I can hear the brass band warming up now – getting ready for the “God of Nations” …..

      By the way, I’d be interested in “Castro”‘s thoughts – the one that comments here but in whose name a Fidel would be rolling in his grave. And btw. I wonder if he/she wants a ZigZag T-shirt and a bit of “genuine” Himachal ganga/hash to go with the answer. Hold my hand @Castro, and I’d be only too willing to take you there where you can take your chances. /wanker

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