Labour cauterises the foreign student rort

By   /   June 12, 2017  /   16 Comments

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…Labour have been burnt in the past when trying to tackle immigration. They have been insensitive and clumsy at times when trying to roll out their ideas, but this is cleverly targeted policy that has none of the tone deaf bluntness.

Labour are not deviating from the housing crisis and have launched a stinging policy that finally cauterises the foreign student rort…

Immigration restrictions on overseas students rorting the visa scheme as a “backdoor entry” into New Zealand could reduce immigration by up to 30,000, Labour says. 

The party has unveiled a major new immigration policy, which proposes tightening rules to limit student visas, remove work visas for some international graduates without job offers at the end of their course and regionalise the occupation list for all work visas. 

“Closing off the ability to work during and after study for people who do low-level courses will stop backdoor immigration,” leader Andrew Little said. 

…this rort has been allowing foreign students to pretend to get an education here (some of these programmes are incredibly questionable) so that they can immediately start working towards residency. They take jobs from locals and they exacerbate the rental market.

It’s about time someone actually stood up and called it the scam that it is.

Good to see Labour are finally making some inroads on this. The only issue is that this must be cuts moving forward, and those who are currently involved require amnesty.

We will still allow students to come here, but the quality of study must be far higher than the joke it currently is…

Current immigration settings had “the perverse effect that a 23-year-old with a New Zealand diploma and three years’ experience in retail can get more points towards residency than a 45-year-old oncologist who wants to migrate here”.

“A third of international students studying at private training establishments say they plan to work or seek residency here after study,” Little said. 

“A third of international students studying at private training establishments say they plan to work or seek residency here after study,” Little said. 

Labour said it would stop issuing student visas for courses below a bachelor’s degree, that were not independently assessed by the Tertiary Education Commission and NZQA to be of a high quality. 

International students had to be studying a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, in order to be able to work in New Zealand while studying. 

The post-study work visa – which allows any international student who has studied for long enough in New Zealand to gain an automatic one-year work visa – would also be limited to students studying a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. 

…Labour have been burnt in the past when trying to tackle immigration. They have been insensitive and clumsy at times when trying to roll out their ideas, but this is cleverly targeted policy that has none of the tone deaf bluntness.

This will be well received by those who are competing against these tens of thousands of foreign students for rentals and low paying jobs. Smart politics by Labour. Twitter liberals will be angry, but Twitter liberals are always angry. Labour are still on track to have a chance of changing the Government in September.
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  1. WILD KATIPO says:

    ‘ Smart politics by Labour. Twitter liberals will be angry, but Twitter liberals are always angry.’

    Well said.

    About as well said as what we see and hear about Labours immigration policy’s.

    Its been a long time in coming and its good Labour is going for broke over this whole complex and very large issue. No more bulldust from National.

    We all know who encouraged this out of control immigration and why.

    So the NZ Institute / National and ACT are about to get their hands slapped. Good. As are all their opportunistic mates running bogus private education rorts. As are all the foreign housing speculators and those nationals who have exploited the situation. As are mean spirited cheap arse employers who don’t believe in paying a proper wage and use cancellation of visa’s as a carrot to force immigrant workers for what amounts to slave wages and conditions.

    So enough of having our wages driven down by cheap imported labour, enough of having our nationals locked out of first home ownership , rental accommodation and having to live out of the back of vans and cars and in garages , enough of having our nationals unemployed and competing with a non unionised foreign immigrant labour force.

    No more.

    Good on Labour.

  2. Cemetery Jones says:

    It’s funny, everyone says learn from Corbyn, but in a way this is learning from Corbyn. Being seen as weak on Brexit and immigration was probably what kept a lot of working and middle class voters from abandoning the Conservatives.

  3. Not A Robot says:

    Take a couple of steps back here and tell me what you see?

    I see tinkering. That’s all.

    The NZ Labour Party is the party of Tinkerers!

    We should just call them, “The Tinkerer’s Party”.

    Labour’s in a very sad and sorry place. They’re like a possum in the headlights. They know they have to change. They know our expectations have moved well beyond what they are capable of.

    But they cannot change. They do not serve the people. They are NeoLiberals. They are Blairites. They are Technocrats. There is almost no functional difference between Andrew Little and Theresa May, except TM looks better in a skirt than Andrew does.

    Labour does not serve us, they serve their Corporate Masters. And their Corporate Masters want high immigration, tight housing, austerity and Technocrats they can deal with directly. So that’s the only Mandate Labour actually has, to hell with what the people want.

    So I say now, it’s not for the NZ Labour Party to change, they can’t do it. The NZ Labour Party can’t be reformed. Let it wither in place.

    Its for the People of NZ to decide how best to step over a COMATOSE NZ LABOUR PARTY and make our own grassroots political machine.

    • simonm says:

      I take it from your comments you’d prefer the Labour Party to continue as a “rump” organisation that sticks firmly to a set of rigid nominally “left-wing” principles and avoids pragmatism at all costs.

      I’m sure Bill English would agree with you wholeheartedly, as this has the wonderful spin-off effect for him of keeping Labour as an opposition party in perpetuity.

      No thanks as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want another 3 years of disastrous, stale National government, and I’m behind Labour in however they see fit get themselves back into government.

      • Not A Robot says:

        You’re out of touch with the times my friend. There are millions of people like me who do not, cannot and will not reconcile themselves to an endless, Centrist continuation of the same bankrupt Neoliberal Hegemony, even if they may not articulate it as such.

        In other words, fasten your seatbelt, because Labour already IS a “rump” party, as you put it, which is unable to govern in its own right without putting together a strange Frankenstein coalition of other Centrist parties, not too dissimilar to the chaotic situation of that other great Centrist party, the UK Conservatives. And it is every bit as unelectable as Theresa May, or Tony Blair, or any of the other interchangeable Technocrats our Hegemons may desperately wish to install but can’t.

        The UK Conservatives, the US Democrats, the NZ National Party and yes, NZ Labour are all finished. They have exhausted their “pragmatic” tactical options. The end of austerity, Centrism and Neoliberal Technocracy is coming. You should brace yourself for a far more radical political future. If I were you, and I were heavily invested in and reliant upon this current “pragmatic” system, I would divest myself of it quickly, because it’s going… going…

  4. CLEANGREEN says:

    Yes the rort needed to be stopped as we saw it happening in HB several years ago when “students” from everywhere around the globe would be rushing here to “learn English”, and we meet several of these “students” who were fresh out of school and this was a setup to come here and learn English and take a job.

    it happened with such frequency that anyone could see it as just a rort.

  5. OnceWasTim says:

    A bloody good start.
    Labour have indeed been delving deep into the various rorts – that’s obvious.
    It’s no wonder Blinglish has come out and said it’ll destroy the (private) tertiary education sector – a sector that has been involved in what is tantamount to people trafficking.
    The genuine providers should have nothing to fear, but it’ll be interesting to see how loud the sector as a whole screams, and who amongst them screams the loudest.

    What is also needed alongside this is to kill off all the ticket-clippers and all those engaged in promoting the rorts. It’s been a lucrative business (often involving cash).
    And amongst them, don’t forget there are a fair few NZ citizens, and also those who’ve been granted PR already who’ve done the ripping (the likes of whom have fleeced people of $25k and upwards on the promises of PR – promises that are not always kept). They’ve built up quite a nice little network over a decade or so.

    And while they’re doing that, have them atone for all their victims and compensate them.
    Kill off the system and the machinery that’s allowed immigration to be seen almost solely as a business opportunity for people to be exploited, then ‘flushed’.

    I expect there will be more to come

    • OnceWasTim says:

      … and just to be clear:

      If current policies weren’t all about propping up a shoddy private tertiary sector and treating people as commodities and a business opportunity, we wouldn’t have the likes of this:

      or the NZ Herald Story, the link for which has now disappeared entitled following that ghastly Herald website upgrade

      “We’re pressured to ignore cheating and pass incompetent students”

      or Sandra Gray expressing dismay at the very same, or indeed countless stories and investigations undertaken by some of our more competent journalists such as Gerritson and others at RNZ (including a segment on Ryan’s Nine to Noon).
      OR an under-resourced NZQA struggling to keep abreast of the scams.

      Hark at Christine Clark of Teriary Education NZ now crying foul!!. There are a few genuine providers of course, but there are also a number of charlatans and possibly rogues within their organisations, and the record speaks for itself. She’s right about one thing: “Low
      skilled doesn’t mean low quality”, but that organisaiton should have done more before now to clean the shit up. It’s only now that they see a threat.
      – Inadequate counselling services for young students facing a new culture
      – Inadequate or non-existant moderation in marking
      – Plagiarism
      – Relying on external agencies to ensure the welfare of students
      – Inadequate induction processes
      How else does she explain various closures, let alone NZQA’s belated concerns except that apparently ‘it’s all ok now, and the problems have been fixed’. Let’s not forget, in order for these providers to remain viable, they must be profitable (and quite obviously, the
      record shows profitable at any cost). So please Ms Christine Clark – when you can categorically guarantee that your representatives and agents are not still ‘at it’, and when you take responsibility for ensuring the integrity of your “processes and procedures”,
      rather than relying on state agencies to clean up your mess afterwards – spare me the faux outrage!

      And although there are a few quality courses now on offer, it in no way makes up for those that have been ripped, lost everything, or for those acting as agents continuing to bullshit in order to clip the ticket and make an earn – often of those who can least afford it.

      IF these rorts hadn’t been promoted by the lying and cheating ticket clippers and people traffickers providing false hope, we wouldn’t have had this:

      or this:

      These are the true victims (amongst MANY others) who’ve been royally ripped. And they wonder why the reluctance for their prized “free-trade” agreements are coming to nought. It has not yet dawned on them that some countries actually care about the welfare of their citizenry.

      BUT BEFORE we think all these rorts are limited to the private tertiary education sector, they are not!
      AND BEFORE we start branding immigrants from any background with labels like “low value” and “unskilled” or “low skilled” – even worse the Brandis/Dutton/Cormann/Morrison cabal doing their best to reintroduce the White Australia Policy with labels like “ECONOMIC MIGRANT”, or “queue jumper”, let’s remember we (Australia and NZ) have our own set of those ‘economic migrants’.
      Because the rorts have gone on now for so long, with wages driven down and expertise in various sectors having been lost overseas, it’s no surprise Kiwis opted to go to OZ to earn ‘big money’ in the mines or in construction. And now the downturn, they’re coming home. Are
      these ‘economic migrant’ ambitions only the Divine Right of the WASP or the ‘noble savage’?

      Under this government, IT’S ALL BEEN ABOUT THE MONEY!!!
      Were that not the case, we’d not have had a Thiel ffs! Or what I think they describe as “churn” – or as one or two legitimate immigration lawyers/consultants (with a concern for basic human rights) described as “Flushing the pool”. Bring them here using whatever promises are necessary, fleece, then rinse, and start all over again.

      And if we were smart, we’d allow a reasonable number who’ve been here 6 or 7 years, and who now possess the expertise and experience in various sectors (BECAUSE THIS GOVERNMENT has
      treated its own citizens with contempt), to remain and pass on their experience to NZ’s unemployed ….. BUT WITH DECENT, LIVEABLE WAGES AND CONDITIONS.
      We could strike an even balance in numbers by getting rid of the exploiters and ticket clippers (THERE ARE MANY!) who’ve provided absolutely no ‘value’ to NZ society other than enriching themselves
      by way of exploitation.

      Again, I suspect (and hope) there’s more to come.

  6. bert says:

    A brilliant piece of policy. Plenty have been waiting for Labour to present meaningful policy and Labour are now at that stage to present an alternative. We know this is great policy to help with rampant immigration putting excruciating pressure on housing and infrastructure in Auckland because National have already been at pains to dismiss it. Already we have a case of an Indian student going public stating that 70 % of students arriving here are coming for work not for educational reasons. Others in business know that kiwis aren’t lazy as English claims, just that they require a living wage to survive on, if working kitchen or labouring jobs. English can deny it all he likes but who can afford to work on the minimum wage in a kitchen job and live in Auckland at the same time?

    • Cemetery Jones says:

      I knew it was a good policy when I jumped over to twitter and found Giovanni Tiso having cancerous rants about it.

  7. Craig Hall says:

    Sound, measured policy from Labour. Also worth noting, for all the raging about it being xenophobic etc, that most of the student immigration policies are simply Labour reinstating immigration policies from the 5th Labour government.

  8. mosa says:

    Radio New Zealand is now no longer ( if it ever was ) red radio.

    Guyon Espiner who has always been right wing used Bill English and his interview as a staging post for destroying Andrew Little on immigration this morning.

    Little cannot communicate well under pressure although to be fair English provided the platform for the “attack’ on Little this morning but Andrew was terrible fluffing and incoherent from the barrage of pressure from Espiner.

    Labour has to remember that even on RNZ its enemy’s are waiting to ambush it at every opportunity and that it must start responding aggressively to the constant right wing media attack.

    Little is not one who can.

  9. Andrewo says:

    “Labour have been burnt in the past when trying to tackle immigration”

    and they’ve been burnt again!

    The Prime Minister easily dismissed their policy with a few contrary facts. The vast majority of students go home after studying. They mostly don’t buy cars and they don’t buy houses.

    Labour’s punt at canning all sub-graduate courses for foreign students would wipe out most of the polytechnics in NZ.

  10. Petercvs says:

    A number of dodgy “Education” providers have been caught falsely giving NCEA credits. Warnings given. Not one has been prosecuted. NZQA does not have the resources to police dodgy providers. Such a shambles.