Temporary visa scam to continue migrant worker exploitation

The government has promised to continue allowing New Zealand bosses to employ a huge number of workers on temporary visas with no right to change employer and little chance of transitioning to permanent residency.
New Zealand has one of the highest percentages of such vulnerable workers in the world.
According to MBIE, the government agency responsible, there are a quarter of a million people on one form of temporary work visa or another. There are also 100,000 people here on student visas, most of whom work.
That’s well over 300,000 people able to be used and abused by New Zealand bosses.
That is equal to around 15% of the current New Zealand workforce. Whole industries and sectors of the economy operate with double that percentage or more.
The system is rife with exploitation. It cannot function in any other way when worker visas are tied to particular employers. A widespread call from unions and migrant worker rights advocates for that change to be made has been ignored. The main work vias will continue to keep these workers in a form of bonded labour unable to change employer.
Instead, 30-50,000 employers will be allowed to register as accredited employers.
There will be a simplified system of employing workers from overseas. Essentially there will be two categories. One for those earning above the median wage of $25 an hour ($52,000 a year) and one for those earning less. Those earning less will need a labour market test like now. But that test won’t be required for higher paid jobs outside the main cities.
Those earning less will have to leave for at least one year after a maximum of three years. This change was brought in by National and has been kept by this government. The lower-paid category was stopped in recent changes by the National Party government from bringing partners and children.  They will now be able to do that but the partner needs their own work visa to work which wasn’t required before National’s change. We can assume wost won’t have that visa and will only get a visitors visa end up working under the table jobs to make the most of their three-year maximum stay.
There are many thousands of workers who have been here a decade or more on temporary work visas who had a chance of progressing to residency when they were enticed to come and study or work here will now progressively be forced out of the country. Many will have children born and raised here who have only known New Zealand as home.
At the same time as the floodgates have been kept open for temporary visas, The current government cut the numbers being given permanent residence by about 10,000 a year or around 20-30%. This is nearly all from the skilled worker category. This is madness given the desperate need for skilled labour. I wrote about this a few months ago.
Yet at the same time, the total number of people coming on temporary visas is continuing to increase. So the annual net migration gain from the flow of permanent and long-term numbers entering and leaving New Zealand each year remains at near-record levels.
This simply evidences the promotion and maintenance of a huge number of vulnerable temporary visa holder able to be exploited easily is government policy.
It also means that every party that is part of this government lied to the electorate about the need for “controlling” immigration.
Before the election, there was about a 1% population gain each year from immigration. This number can be planned for without much difficulty. Even in a  major city like Auckland, it is only about 2%. There is no reason to blame immigrants for the housing crisis or failures of public transport. That is the result of the government failing to invest in a meaningful way. But each of the governing parties in this government promised to reduce this number and they lied.
But what this government has done is kept the overall increase more or less the same while cutting the permanent residence number and increasing the temporary residence number. This is probably the worst possible way to approach the issue.
Because New Zealand has had a net loss of its permanent resident population each year for some decades, it has needed to import residents from abroad. Foreign-born New Zealand residents make up 25% of the total population. Every migrant community has thousands of people who have been brought to New Zealand under false pretenses to work or study. They were told they would have the chance to transition to permanent residence and it was a lie. They have upended their lives, invested tens of thousands of dollars in education and training. They have lived here for a decade or more with stable jobs and brought up families.
If a government gave this group of people permanent residence it would make not add a single digit to the annual inward migrant flow.  That is the humanitarian thing to do. But it would bind that migrant community to the party in government for life. The Tories would never be able to be elected to office again.
The permanent residences visas being issued is now so low the government has increased the salary level for those able to transition from work to residence from $55,000 to $79,560 for new applicants. This essentially excludes nearly every worker coming to New  Zealand from ever accessing permanent residency.
The importation of hundreds of thousands of workers willing to work for minimum or sub-minimum wages is designed to force the overall wage level down. It is designed to allow the freshwater degraders and methane creators in the dairy industry to continue to operate profitably. They can continue to avoid increasing the wages of workers in the dairy industry to levels needed to actually attract the labour they need rather than import it from the Philippines.
If we need truck drivers, dairy farmworkers, hotel and hospitality staff, agricultural workers, then we should allow them to migrate to New Zealand permanently with all the rights permanent residents have. This must begin with the right to change their employer. This was allowed for the Christchurch construction workers after endemic exploitation was discovered. But the truth is every single industry investigated by MBIE, the government agency responsible for immigration and enforcing minimum labour standards, was found non-compliant with minimum legal standards. This is the nature of capitalism.
Indentured labour must end now. No worker should be bound to a single employer. All workers need a pathway to residency.


  1. Wrong answer to right question. No to more new residents. The indigenous people are demographically marginalised enough as it is. Doing as you suggest will only perpetuate the disenfranchisement of the past 180 years.
    Rather than give all temporary workers PR, why not reduce the numbers of temp workers and PR approvals all together. It’ll kill off useless unproductive businesses and cause productivity and wages to rise. And begin to enable us to forge our own destiny free from the enduring shackles of past and present colonisation.

  2. Flipping awesome Mike. This is indeed the truth about migrant workers. They are set up as our underclass and it is deliberate and part of the setup is to exclude them from any feelings of empathy from us permanent residents. We all like having someone to blame for our troubles and it is convenient for the government for us to blame migrants rather than them.

    • Spikeyboy, yes. The vitriol against immigrant workers from NZ’ers is grim, and they don’t deserve it. This is part of grubby little Bill English’s killing two birds with one stone, where he set the stage by saying that young NZ males are useless, hence bring in outsiders. Good Catholic boy Bill English is a conspicuous example of his educators at St Pat’s, Silverstream, failure, to enable him develop the social conscience which used to be a hall mark of Catholic education. A smart guy, believing his own second-hand rhetoric, would have looked at what we can do to help transition young people into work, but intellectual dilettante English saw that it is in employers’ interests to keep wages down, to help rich men stay rich.

      Labour are making another mistake perpetuating this, because I think people are starting to see the bigger picture – bringing in Filipino bus drivers to bandaid the Wellington bus fiasco is another hopelessly cynical advertisement of how scaringly shockingly shonky much of our infrastructure is. Also inhumane, because if those 10 bus drivers have wives and children, then they’ll be left at home.

      I may err there. Chances are mum is in the UK or the Middle East providing cheap domestic services. Filippino women who should be home with their husbands and children, often don’t have that choice because they have to go abroad to help support their families. I am calling out Iain Lees-Galloway, originally plain Mister Galloway, before he hyphenated himself, for knowingly participating in a global scenario of using these lovely people as often little more than slave labour, and thus participating in the fragmentation and destruction of a whole race of people. Is there a word for that ?

      There should be, because it is replicated in every country where this country, uses people as economic units to be picked up and dumped at will with callous disregard for the human dimension of their lives.

      Shame on Lees-Galloway, and shame on English twittering away trying to force women have unwanted babies, and the pair of them seemingly uncaring about the every day reality of other people’s lives. Perhaps they may ponder what role we play in these children of the poor being forced into prostitution, or do brown-skinned people not really matter all that much ?

  3. Still nope from me.
    Turn the tap off, it’s lowering wages here.
    Giving residency or the ability to move jobs just permanently ups the flow of unskilled immigration and there is no way that doesn’t further burden our inadequate infrastructure.
    Plus, flavour of the month: each person averages 20 tonnes of co2 a year, how much global warming do we want NZ to contribute by importing more?
    Living within our means requires using who we have got here, all jobs could be done, for the right wage (it’s “the market” or something).
    Advocating for migrants to get automatic residency here makes you a tool of globalisation. The point where the far left and far right overlap and fuck the country.

    • Yes. And, especially as so many of these “migrants” have deliberately bought their way in via corrupt agents. They know exactly what they are doing.

      • Rosielee ? You can’t really say that. How many migrants would deliberately choose to be exploited ?

        I have had close involvement with two students, misled by agents in their own countries, one Chinese and one Indian. The Chinese student came to the wrong university; the Indian lass was in tears about future costs not conveyed to her by her agent.

        The agents are the people reaping the big bucks, often from clients who have to borrow to pay them, and then find that they have bought into a nightmare. Us.

        Next time you see a Chorus sub-contractor or a lines company sub-contractor working on the street at 8pm, how about asking him if he’s getting paid for all of his time ?

        • Yes it’s a rip off, but why are the government allowing open slather to migrants coming here, in fact making it easier, who are clearly being completely mislead about what they are about to get into in NZ and are worse off after paying $50k to agents and those who are coming to NZ and getting into criminal activity here or just making decisions that end people’s lives aka more hit and run victims with migrant drivers often being in the headlines.. as a percentage there seems to be a lot more accidents happening but apparently you seem to get a free ride in the NZ justices system if you are not a local.

          The locals can’t survive on the NZ wages and either can anyone else!

          Many of the migrants don’t even have jobs to go to and are being bought in, then have the unfortunate decision to commit frauds and lie on paperwork to continue or just give up on the 50K they already paid to their local agents!

          Then the baby issue, of people having kids in NZ while not being a citizen here and all the complexity that brings to both the baby being born on NZ soil (often to a NZ passport holder, know quite a few in that situation with the migrant getting residency on the basis of having a NZ child, then the child’s mother is not the DPB) and the NZ systems that seem to not expect people to do normal stuff while they are working here for 3 years, aka have sex, produce children, get sick, etc…. apparently neoliberalism doesn’t understand or can calculate related social outcomes that then fall on the public system…

          Nor is their any understanding on what that is doing to the local communities where there is even more pressure for low cost housing, maternity, health care, primary schools and getting a job!

          Look at the communities who often did the blue collar jobs… more violent crimes and gun crimes growing, with all the drugs turning up all over NZ too… decimating NZ communities.

          Kiwi’s already living here, need to have jobs to go to, and if employers can get migrants easily on group ‘contracts’ from third parties, no questions asked for a set fee, obviously they can go with that… rather than employ people already living here… who are then disenfranchised from the work force.

          This is leading to worsening social outcomes developing…. aka more drug addicts and drug dealing including locals meeting shipments being dropped onto NZ beaches, more gun crimes and more people who can’t live without food parcels or who are bringing up local kids in hotels.

          The latest wake up call should be the poor young student in Chch whose body was not found for 8 weeks… there is massive stress for young people now with the low wages in NZ and competition for jobs and surviving while studying, not to mention the torture and murder of the other teenager in Auckland that apparently was also not nearly discovered by police. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/116156349/a-scuffle-at-mcdonalds-and-a-police-officers-hunch-the-solving-of-dimetrius-pairamas-murder

          NZ politicians and commentators need to take a long hard look at the local situation because the underclass are not the migrants paying $50k to get here, they are the locals being murdered and our youth so invisible they are not even noticed when they die in our universities by our pastural care given by Aussie companies and our university chancellors who now come from South Africa because Kiwis are not good enough to run our universities anymore!

          When you look at the disaster that some of these overseas CEO are inflicting on NZ companies maybe it’s time to have a look at is that really a good idea, and who is being discriminated against because it’s looking more like local people being overlooked and discriminated against in the work force, being paid less than overseas workers for high paid jobs in particular… in the Burger King case, the person who was not paid her minimum wages was not a temporary migrant it was a NZ passport holder they underpaid!

          NZ businesses and government is being coming a joke with the Theo Spiering’s and Gabriel Makhlouf’s and the convicted criminals and fraudsters like Joanne Harrisons and Richard Yan (who apparently won’t be paying his $18 million back to creditors) https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12271022&ref=clavis

          Apparently Kiwi’s are not good enough any more to be employed to run our own companies and so called NZ ‘shareholders’ and government are happy to turn a blind eye to fraudsters and incompetents from offshore who get paid the big bucks for running NZ companies and government into the ground while making more locals redundant and services worse, while the neoliberals cheer them on!

          • Very true.
            Today’s fun fact is that foreign drug runners also bring in guns.
            Is it one or a dozen or two we ask? The police after all told you that they only get stolen from licensed gun owners.

            From OIA information, 264 guns were seized at the border last year.
            That’s just the ones they got, as meth is still more readily available than pot, I’ll let you work out how porous our border is and what that means for illegal guns and gang violence.
            Feeling safer?

          • savenz – Thank you for mentioning the sad death of the young ChCh student. In a way, it epitomises what we have now become – Australian owned company and all. I am angry about it, and grieved. Further, it means no parent can ever again think that their offspring is “safe”, in university halls of residence – which used to provide favoured academic outcomes for first year students, but are now just more off-shore cash cows.

            I am incredibly pissed off with Iain Lees-Galloway over this and can confidently say that I will never vote Labour again, because, however much PM Ardern smiles, they are just as exploitive as National.

            Many, if not most NZ’ers, carry histories of sometimes horrific exploitation in our genes. Maori are the most visible, but the Irish, Scots, Indian, Brits et al have all suffered enormously. Those who know their histories, know that we have some very damaged histories, and these histories may help explain some of our dire social problems like male violence and child abuse – which I’m not elaborating on now.

            That we are now doing exactly the same bad things to other people is both disgraceful and unfathomable.

            We witnessed slippery inequities developing under the National govt and expected better from Labour. I’m not going to say that we got it wrong – I’m saying that they got it wrong; I suspect that Lees-Galloway isn’t the brightest, and there are some good Labour MP’s, but they have a collective responsibility for destructive policies. Both here, and in Britain, the left have traditionally been the socially responsible intelligentsia, but whatever they are now here, it’s not good enough.

            Where they collude in any decision making which impacts negatively upon our, and I might add “their” people, to just favour a few – and often that few are wealthy off-shore foreigners – that is not what their mandate is, and they are as foolish as they assume that we are, if they bring in immigrants and then have the nerve and the dishonesty to proceed to scapegoat them for our various ills. It is a recipe for social unrest – and perhaps that’s what suits them. Perhaps they just don’t think.

        • So the agents are the problem. Get the NZ immigration dept back in control. Cut out the middle men and the corruption.

          • The problem is that there are many uneducated and desperate people in the world, literally billions of which many are going to fall to scams or try to get out of their overcrowded and or dictator led country.

            Therefore the onus is on the NZ government to have a clue and work out that open Slater for temporary and permanent visas, with huge fake paperwork scams is the norm.

            In fact it is the more genuine candidates that are being turned down, and the lying and cheating applicants as you can see by Sroubek example (who also got his ex wife permanent residency here while not even being one himself) example, works a treat!

            Instead government are letting ‘the markets’ decide and any man and his dog putting thorough paperwork or allowing anybody to give points for residency, many of whom have just had their residency just approved and the ink hasn’t even dried yet, make money off getting more people into NZ and charging large under the counter, fees for doing so.

            The work visas are not the only method, in fact, the work visas only accounted for about 50% of the residency applications when I last looked. You can get residency/permanent residency/citizenship just being a relative of a person who has residency, or marrying someone with residency (in fact some are already onto their 3nd wife application), or you can buy a ‘business’ like a ‘cafe’ and be an ‘entrepreneur’ or just buy citizenship by getting in with politicians and having a legal team onto it, like Peter Thiel).

            The problem is, we have a welfare system in NZ. So getting so many people into the country then creates a massive burden on the tax payers who are paying the health care, schooling and infrastructure and wage top ups once they qualify for permanent residency for all these unwaged, or low waged or just criminal residents.

            Clearly this did not used to be the case in NZ and we have always had immigration here but it was targeted to not be a burden on existing residents, now that has been removed and pretty much anybody can come here on a temporary visa, so it is worth paying $100k to get citizenship by any means possible, see above, because you can easily make that back with all the free education for your children, healthcare for all care, super for your parents and the money making benefits you get as a NZ passport holder, by taking $50k payments for marriages or jobs.

            50% of the people exploiting and being caught by the labour inspectorate are new migrants turned citizens. So there is clearly a bizarre strategy in place to attract exploitative new citizens here.

            NZ visas are actually a way to print money for many.

          • @RosieLee Not practical. There is no way that NZ Immigration can just go into foreign countries such as China, or Sth Korea, or India, or Japan, or Taiwan, anywhere, and set themselves up acting on behalf of the local populations.

            The days of white imperialists being able to bully their way through the far and near east have largely passed.

            Some overseas students already here also act as agents for their homeland; it’s not illegal, but I think that with Sth Korea, their embassy stepped in, and such agents may no longer be able to act independently. Mainland China will have hundreds of agents, and most are probably ok or the networks would implode.

            NZ secondary schools and universities derive a significant and welcome income from being able to provide good educational services to highly motivated overseas students – apart from the odd crap language outfit in Auckland which gets shut down every now and then.

            • “@RosieLee Not practical. There is no way that NZ Immigration can just go into foreign countries such as China, or Sth Korea, or India, or Japan, or Taiwan, anywhere, and set themselves up acting on behalf of the local populations.”
              That’s very true!. However they could have been doing much more than they have – especially when (as that muppet Joyce used to crow) our ‘export education sector’ was worth $5b – even though it was built on a sham.
              Such as warnings (by way of advertising) on their local media, with pointers to legitimate agents or an advice line. They could even do that in conjunction with other jurisdictions the scamsters target.
              Instead – NOTHING. Worse still they shut down their presence offshore in the very places the worst of it is happening. Brains of Britain anyone?

  4. The questions that need to be asked are
    Whose advice was it that the Minister and Cabinet decided to continue with the policy of bondage, and for what purpose.
    We know that tying visas to a specific employer (rather than simply a sector and/or region) is a recipe for exploitation.
    By the way @Kauri – this is also a big factor in being able to drive down wages, rather than simply whether or not it’s an immigrant or local doing the job. If an immigrant was easily able to switch employers within a sector/region if they were being ripped off by the one they are tied to, there’d be less of it happening. Much less.
    At the moment, they do so illegally in order to earn enough to survive and the employers are at an advantage. And let’s be clear – just as an example: Over the past two seasons, if there had not been this illegality and exploitative behaviour, up to 20% of the Kiwifruit crop would have gone to waste.
    And bear in mind, the immigrant has no access to welfare or paid healthcare. They are effectively in bondage.
    People won’t work for an arshole if they are free to take up a better option, and for better pay. It is that bondage that is driving down wages and conditions, not the fact that it’s an immigrant.
    I also find the references to colonisation quite interesting because its most often that the exploited immigrants are from places that have been subject to the very same colonisation we complain about. They’re therefore most likely to be sympathetic to the effects of colonisation that the local population experiences.
    Also interesting to me is that while we’re prepared to allow exploitation of the lower classes and castes from the ‘post-colonised world’, we bend over to accommodate those from the ‘post-colonisers’ into senior positions in the corporate world and government (apparently we must pay them ever-increasing salaries according to a global ‘market’, whether they’re new CEO’s in local gummint, or public servants parachuted in to take up senior positions and show us little Kiwis “best practice” – and even before they’ve had time to adapt to our culture.

    So back to my original question: On whose advice was it that the bondage policy should continue and why?

    1. Did it in any way take account of the extensive research of 2015/16 by Dr Christina Stringer into exploitation (and by the way – at the time, some of the research team felt they were being followed – conspiracy or not ….. T&C/MBIE anyone?). Answer NO
    2. Has it taken notice of the countless real examples reported in media over the past few years by what vestiges we have left of the 4th Estate – there are still a couple of dozen (I could provide you with several pages) Answer NO
    3. Has it taken account of the many cases on the books of legit Immigration lawyers (as opposed to the shoddy agents with vested interests) who have been diligently warning of what has been happening, and the consequences which now mean that exploitation is now Norman Normal. Answer NO
    4. Does it in anyway consider WHY there are so many immigrants from that ‘post-colonised world’ who are effectively stuck (i.e. those in bondage who work illegally for pittances – as IF they would want to given a choice! – who are merely trying to recover the cost of loans to get here, and then pay for an airfare out of the place. ) Answer NO

    More likely is that the policy is based on advice from “officials”. The ones I L-G seems thoroughly intimidated by for some reason (possibly just naivety or being a shit judge of character, hopefully nothing deeper)
    Those very same officials who thought it wise to encourage any and every Johnny and Jane to become an ‘advisor’ (probably under the influence of that “efficiency and effectiveness” mantra), and to vertically integrate the institutional supply chain of people to pipe through crappy PTEs and ANSCO skill shortage lists.
    Those very same officials who now worry that the mess they’ve created through past policy and under-resourcing would cause them to be absolutely overwhelmed if the practice of bondage were lifted.
    Those very same “officials” who do things like trying to deport Carla Cardo’s stepfather and countless other examples of complete muppetry.

    They’ve had to admit the rorts are now so many they can’t cope; they know exploitation is way way way under-reported and that there’s been a growth in successful Section 61 appeals – but that’s the bed they’ve made for themselves. Now they don’t want to lay in it.
    They’d rather rely on age/ethnic (NOT racial doncha know) profiling and reducing a physical presence and robotics. Gotta cut those fiscal costs – never mind the humans.
    Better to continue to exploit and bond like some 19C colonial blackbirding practice, than to actually do something that’ll work to reduce it all AND lift wages and conditions AND ensure crops are picked, shit PTEs shutdown AND regional needs are met AND their now over-burdened and low-skilled public servants at the coal face EVENTUALLY have their workload reduced.

    I won’t get into the hypocrisy of it all, but suffice to say the structure and implementation of our immigration policies over the past few years (which have allowed the industrialisation of exploitative possibilities and practices) is at odds with what we (lil’ole Nu Zull) claims to be. At times, I wonder just how well we’d do if CNN’s Freedom Project were to come knocking and delve a little deeper than the superficial.

    • Tim “More likely is that the policy is based on advice from “officials”. The ones I L-G seems thoroughly intimidated by for some reason (possibly just naivety or being a shit judge of character, hopefully nothing deeper)” Indeed.

      Until now I have been sceptical of assertions that govt policy is being formulated by non-elected public servants.

      I now accept that this is true.They are the planners and forward thinkers. With Whale Oil incapacitated they are untouchable. We may no longer need an expensive rabble in Parliament – wheel them out occasionally to kow tow to royal dimwits bestowing their equally expensive presence upon us as rent-a-mob wave their little flags.

      • While I believe the current coalition, or Labour/Labour-Green is far better than the alternatives (i.e. anything that involves the current crop of gNats whose ancestors are probably all rolling in their graves), a few things have become pretty obvious.
        I’m also thinking that Jacinda will probably go down in history as one on NZ’s better PMs.
        Mathew the Hooter once said (to paraphrase) that the senior ranks of the Public Service have a vested interest in preserving the status quo (a Nine2Noon hissy fit a while back) – probably the only thing I’ve ever agreed with him on. Oh no – there was one other thing, which was his opinion of a MBIE post election briefing paper.
        I doubt neo-liberalism and the ’84/’87 Labour programme/sellout could have taken hold without the various public service reforms that took place at the time.
        The same is true now IF the coalition really wanted to be ‘transformational’ and kind.
        The first thing the government should have tackled is again – reform the PS, reversing some of the previous changes and actually ensuring accountability and transparency (not just talking about it).
        We operate under a series of little feifdoms which have an associated spin and BS machine attached, and which bully and disrespect the little peons at the coalface carrying out His Master’s Voice, and which frequently drop their Munsters in the poo so that they have to spend a heap of time in damage control. As we near 2020, and another election, it’s almost as if some in Labour are saying to the gNats: “Here’s a bloody big stick for you to beat me with. I’m really into pain, so go hard! Oh Yea Baby…. more, MORE, MORE!”. It’s quite pathetic to have to watch.
        I just noticed a JA thing on The Spinoff:
        “We can’t say we value our art if we don’t value our artists”
        Nor can we say we value our freedom if we don’t value those in slavery and bondage,
        or that we value compassion and kindness if we don’t value those in poverty and facing adversity, or that we value transformation and progress if we’re (to use the buzz) change and risk averse.
        Christ! – and I’m not even religious

    • Having 300,000 new workers each year is obviously lowering wages. There should be a cap of 15,000 max workers.

      At present nobody is happy apart from the exporters and bad employers who are making an absolute fortune bringing people into NZ and making them pay huge amounts on promises that are not true. There have also been reports some of these people are donating to the Labour Party, so maybe like the Natz, have their hands in their pockets for donations too?

      Most these people should not be bought into NZ as they do not have the skills to work here, and have zero understanding of the high costs of living are in NZ vs wages if they are a low wage worker picking fruit or farm work… that is what they are here, to lower working conditions that even the migrants themselves are astonished at! The reason they do it, is often the free health care and primary school education that NZ offers, and the chance of residency which means that the public are essentially subsidising low wage employers .

      Filipino farm worker surprised by ‘level of exploitation’ in New Zealand

      With WFF and accomodation benefits, now migrant labour, when is the penny gonna drop to government that they are heavily subsidising bad NZ employers and industries that now rely on other NZ tax payers to heavily subsidise their workers (often while they make record profits aka supermarkets) and why would NZ industry make any changes when the NZ government is so keen to spend taxes on helping low wage businesses make more profits?

      The government bought in worker exploitation 30 years ago with Rogernomics so it’s now a joke they are worried about newcomers being exploited when they are the ones who changed the laws to exploit locals in the first place, and continuing the practice while pretending to be astonished about migrants exploitation and Kiwi’s 2nd generation exploitation, first with Rogernomics, now with visa ponzi’s and making the locals pay their taxes to subsidise employer wage and benefit subsidies like free education for newcomers children paid for by existing Kiwis to ‘encourage’ more temporary visa applications for employers who don’t want to pay or improve conditions to attract local people to work for them!

      Why would you, when it is easier to moan to government than safe guard for the future!

  5. Tim – PS reform will come, but the catalyst must come first – unfortunately we’re not there yet. One would hope there are international conventions to prevent vulnerable immigrants from being exploited by governments like NZ’s, but even then they may not necessarily work, as evidenced by our ignoring and violating the rules of war in Afghanistan.

    We’re getting a bit soiled – but we did once lead the world in some good things, and yes, PM Ardern at least talks of values without meaning money, and there are things which we are now trying to rectify – like Afghanistan- and the rectifications are coming up from the people.

    • What do you think that catalyst might be?
      I’m picking it’ll be a suicide or two. There was already talk around the BoP community of an Indian soul lost at sea when ‘swimming’ a few years ago.
      Then there’s this:
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018709712/foreign-students-stranded-as-tertiary-provider-deregistered (watch the video – and still not much has happened)
      or this:

      and that’s only 2 of a number I know of. It also doesn’t take account of the loss of the will to live by family members because of indebtedness I’m aware of.

      “we’re getting a bit soiled” is probably going to be the understatement of the century. But, of course it’s all “best practice”, and apparently (as RosieLee above says, in typical Joycian fashion), they know what they’re doing – ‘End of Storey !!!!!!!!!!!’ eh?. After all, they’re all the bloody same eh?

      • @Tim, one or two suicides won’t do it. We are already world leaders in men of 18-25 committing suicide. Something bloodier, or possibly some big govt dept scandal, something systemic, and for that staff need to speak up, and generally speaking they’re gutless, or are fearful for their jobs. Some years ago someone I knew well told me about a minorly-corrupt customs official at Customs HQ, but seemed to just accept that one particular colleague was a crook.

        Workers come in under different schemes I know little about; the simplest are perhaps seasonal Pacifica fruit pickers, organised by what was the Labour Dept. We depend upon them, and it seems to be a lifestyle which suits some who come over from the islands, make money, go home.

        It’s where the utilities companies are deliberately unnecessarily structured using sub-contractors, who in turn use their own sub-contractors, that there are sometimes some puzzling features – and sometimes very rich overseas owners. I’ve had an ongoing issue with one which I can’t talk about, but because I know that they lie, I talk with the workers where there’s an opportunity. Talking with Indians working the supermarkets, they are aware that fellow countrymen are getting unfair deals.

        We just lost a popular local Indian restaurant – closed down altogether, and I gather the issues were to do with payment of staff. They’re exploited, and often by their own people.

        Couple of years ago I advised a Chinese ex-student I first knew back in 2005, who was having work problems with a big Auckland employer; it got sorted,but it wasn’t the first time, and when you’re diligent, and have a wife and a child and a mortgage, and are doing all the right things, and you’re an outsider, then you’re fairly vulnerable. If you add disgruntled xenophobic Kiwis, its an unhealthy and mean mix.

        So we do need to treat immigrants much more fairly, and be more transparent to NZ’ers about why they are here, and about citizenship issues etc.

        Care and rest homes now depend largely upon Samoan and Filippino staff; it’s literally shitty work and not well paid. I knew one Filippino trained registered nurse able to work in NZ only as a lower paid nurse aide.

        But hey – they’re making big bucks for their investors – that’s where All Blacks invest money – get rich on the backs of the ailing old, and the underpaid aides who look after them. Rymans do well I think; a dietition who has worked for them, tells me that she does not like them very much – that’s putting it politely.

        Where immigrants get a rental property, its packed to the gills – had a neighbouring one with Sri Lankan families and pretty petite ladies too nervous to answer the door.
        It’s not true that all foreign workers automatically get free or necessarily cheap medical care, but it is true that we unkindly split families.

        Several decades ago when it was said that pregnant Samoan girls came here to have babies and get citizenship, it was proposed that they be pregnancy tested on arrival, and human rights people rightly objected.

        If Immigration NZ formulates exploitive policy cashing in on our hopelessly parochial insular suspicious little society, then they should be sent back to the drawing board or replaced. I don’t understand exploitation – apart from the rich buggers at the top – but it is exceedingly foolish and inhumane social policy, and it shames us.

        • I tend to agree with you @Applewood – i.e. that one or two suicides won’t do it.
          It’ll probably take more than a few.
          You do know I suppose about the current investigation going on into INZ corruption by one of its staffers over the RSE scheme? I don’t expect much to come of it -guess who is investigating.
          The spin-meisters are working overtime in the background – shame they can no longer call in T&C (by way of edict from above) for an ‘independent’ view.
          But thank the almighty Heavens they at least managed to get rid of one eh? – on to better and brighter things as a Hamilton City councillor. Whoar – I really wish I was so tough as HE

  6. If you have a look at the destruction the government immigration policies are pushing onto the provinces in particular renters and first home house buyers dependant on NZ wages, house prices are skyrocketing. all over NZ…

    … there seems to be a direct relationship between inward migration and increasing house prices, which then create a catalyst of council rates and debts to start rising to pay for the infrastructure, which pushes up council debts, rates, house insurance and rents and house prices more, , it actually creates a worrying scenario where people can’t actually get by as all their expenses start rising rapidly, and shortages start increasing so the ‘living wages’ are no longer enough to live on and they are just worsening the issue by making the provinces skyrocket in prices!

    Annual median house prices

    Northland average house price $507,500 up 10.8%
    Gisborne average house price $420,000 up 25.4%
    Hawkes Bay average house price $500,000 up 12.4%
    Wellington average house price $636,600 up 7.9%
    Manawatu/Wanganui average house prices $390,000 up 25.6%
    Southland average house prices $310,000 up 29.2%
    Otago, average house prices $489,000 up 13.7%
    Nelson average house prices $586,000 up 11.6%

    (Now they have stopped awarding visa points for living in Auckland, house prices, down 3.5%)

    So the question is, are wages in Gisborne and Manawatu/Wanguanui increasing up over 25%????

    Are wages in Southland growing over 29% per annum?

    Don’t think so!

    The government is creating unaffordability for local people with their tinkering on these visas.

    They might be helping out a few employers, but they are screwing over the many people who already live there on wages!

    • Immigration policy as you say, has been fucked for a long time. The rorting and exploitation has been industrialised over the past decade or so, and its becoming harder to believe that it wasn’t all by design.

      Of course rising immigration has caused most of the housing problem (with the wealthy, either from places whose currencies are worth way more than NZ’s, AND/OR with ‘black money’) have been buying up large.
      Where I live or frequent , they even keep houses vacant or let them out 1 or 2 days a week on AirBNB. (I was even told by one – a former real estate agent now resident in Taupo and worshiper of Paula B’s – that he ‘prefers Europeans’ – they don’t stink the place up. I think he does get one or two non-Europeans in from time to time to do a ‘cashie’ cleaning job though).

      In @Kauri’s terms – these are the new colonisers and re-colonisers (but that’s a study in itself). They’re certainly not the students from developing nations brought here by way of false promises (which incidentally are still being made and not clamped down on) to prop up PTE’s and even Universities (which NZQA has proven itself to be incapable of monitoring).

      You haven’t actually addressed the issue of exploitation by way of bondage though, and how it is THAT that has driven down wages. I am damn sure there aren’t many who’ve come to be piped through through shitty PTEs and ANSCO skill shortage lists with strict visa conditions were the ones buying houses up large. Nor are they the Filipino worker associated with a labour hire company.

      They’re usually the ones hot bunking and living in squalor, OR working illegally (such as up to 80 hour weeks).
      And yes, anyone can pick fruit if able bodied. There’s actually a lot more to orchard management and horticulture than that however, and a lot more to building than banging in a nail (for example).

      The fucked immigration policies over the years along with the driving down of wages and conditions are exactly what have meant necessary skills in many sectors have been transferred to the immigrant.
      It’s also created a vicious circle by driving down wages to the point no local wants the job or can live on it, and then further by way of bondage.
      It’s also why we see businesses (large and small – from orchards/packhouses, to Chorus and others ‘outsource’ their responsibilities to sub-contractors/ticket-clippers who’ll take the risk for them – which is how that 20% of crops got picked rather than rot.

      (Which is why I don’t really have much sympathy for the employers moaning about skill shortages and having to import labour now – short term thinking and complete lack of foresight. Like the “officials” that have made their beds, they can now lay in them and do something positive about fixing the mess they’ve created – like removing the mechanism that causes bondage and slavery and trafficking, implementing a living wage, deporting and/or seriously sanctioning people engaging in human trafficking in all its forms, rather than the wet bus ticket approach.)

      NZ has, over the past decade or so, become quite an attractive destination for scammers, ticket clippers and exploiters, and so far “officials” seem to think doing some of the same things will fix it. Actually, a few of them don’t really want it fixed as long as they can keep spinning and copying all that “best practice” from the “colonising” jurisdictions).
      And let’s be clear, the only reason those scammers, ticket-clippers and exploiters are active and able to operate is BECAUSE of the past policies and immigration system we’ve implemented: a stupid points system that favours more valuable currencies and black money, and treats everyone primarily as an economic unit without any social or cultural value; complete lack of adequate monitoring and oversight of PTE’s and other tertiary institutions; complete lack of monitoring and oversight of agents with ties to businesses such as labour hire companies, or security companies, or even businesses designed to take advantage of whatever the latest ANSCO skill shortage list says; under-resourcing of public servants at the coal face with generic muppet managers and advisors; the mission to cut costs and try and automate everything; etc.

      I actually agree with most things you say at times – they’re not mutually exclusive to the above, but buying into a fortress-NZ mentality isn’t going to fix it.

      Actually, (like one or two of my fellow locals – European and Noble Savages), I’m thinking of a working holiday taking in OZ, Canada, Europe and the UK and maybe even Trump’s America ‘cos the wages and salaries are much better and worth more. We’ve just got to work out which passports to use when entering and leaving various destinations. I’ll be back in time to collect me super and I might even have enough for a deposit on an investment property.

      • I think we pretty much agree with each other OnceWasTim in terms of the government is blind to the exploitation of immigration and are not doing anything to stop it.

        I’m just am coming at it from the exploitation of the local community first and my view is that many of the migrants are collateral damage from NZ government immigration policy, and some have adapted (like some locals) to exploit the immigration situation and actually make huge profits out of it, and those seem to be the people who have the ear of government.

        Meanwhile. I also agree and am alarmed at, the social costs on society of (like some of the highest profits for banking and drugs here), NZ lazy immigration rules have ” become quite an attractive destination for scammers, ticket clippers and exploiters”, which in my view the government rules are encouraging and society is adapting to that aka the scammers are able to sponsor more scammers into NZ permanent residency.

        The government is only looking at the money side and not long term society and that is a very short sighted approach, including allowing our degrees to be used for making money and cheating at tertiary level.

        At the end of the day, a migrant who has a very bright youth is trying to get them into Harvard, Oxford and not AUT or Massey to become a chef or 5 line IT support worker or the new masters in international business… soon our degrees will be internationally worthless as we sold our souls for the profit.

        To continue this money based approach, many of NZ universities just like NZ businesses are not run by Kiwis – it is becoming more common to import Non Kiwi chancellors who knows nothing about the culture here (just a quickie course) to run them neoliberal business style, with a side of woke dictatorship. (Think not allowing Don Brash to speak at Massey by the Aussie chancellor).

        This is literally stripping away our future, as gone is the ability of having a range of diverse views (not a bunch of middle class people from across the globe) at university from the staff to the students (including bright migrants who are here for decent NZ education and not residency) which can change the world for the better.

        Instead NZ education has become about paying student fees and ensuring NZ universities compete for bums on seats by marketing and the actual education is just an old-fashioned, undesirable, side of the institution. This has come to a head when they don’t even notice a local student dead in his dorm for 8 weeks because students don’t seem to matter any more, plenty more from overseas to acquire for the money pit.

        Rogernomics prioritising international students and money, have lowered the educational and pastural standards for NZ degrees. Neoliberalism is all about the race to the bottom using someone else’s money to get the standards lower.

        Tthe migrant ‘bondage’ issue would be avoided by just having visa quotas like only 15,000 temp visa’s per year allowed and only 10% foreign students allowed in each tertiary institution because it would drive up the entire standard of work and education in NZ, aka the best migrants get through to the best NZ employers and best universities.

        If some of the international business schools fold, and a few businesses go under, it is better in the long run because the competition model in business is driving standards everywhere lower not higher. And NZ businesses can’t compete with scammers who bring labour in for nothing to get residency and undercut them.

        Meanwhile this above approach is very short term and the results of lowering wages and conditions by a decade of lazy immigration is that nobody enters certain sectors now like truck driving or fruit picking, because you can’t live on the wages.

      • Tim – “There are many thousands of workers who have been here a decade or more on temporary work visas who had a chance of progressing to residency when they were enticed to come and study or work here will now progressively be forced out of the country.” This is one of the most disgraceful features from Mike Treen, of NZ Immigration and/or coalition govt policy exploiting immigrant workers.

        If the conditions under which immigrants were originally employed have been substantially changed, then there should be a case under contract law against the govt/ Immigration Dept/Lees-Galloway.

        • Agreed. I personally know of one who only ever intended staying here for 3 years max,then return home – based on the undertakings given by agents and having done due diligence from those IN NZ. Employers repeatedly implored him to stay and gave promotion after promotion.
          After a decade (and having given up opportunities back ‘home’ (because NZ had now become his new ‘home’ supposedly), he had to just give up and go, along with his NZ born daughter, AND with just the sort of skills we supposedly need.

          I’ve often wondered whether or not there might be some sort of case for a class action to be taken, but I’m not a lawyer.

          • New Zealand suicide rate highest since records began


            “Māori men continue to be disproportionately represented, 97 died by suicide in the past year, 12 per cent more than last year.”

            Love how the wokies have the demographics asian, Maori, Pacific Island and other, aka circa 65% of the NZ population and the 2nd highest suicide group is coined as “other”, Asian have one of the lowest suicide rates in NZ according to their graph but come first on the graph….

            No wonder the census was a disaster and data now meaningless with the woke tinkering approach, taking precedence.

            I also heard that the woke did not want suicide funding prevention to be targeted at men who are a huge suicide group, because they were worried about supporting ‘privileged’ groups…

            If you are a migrant and are feeling suicidal from being scammed in NZ, there have already been cases of the government extending the visa on the basis of feeling suicidal…

  7. I tend to agree with you @Applewood – i.e. that one or two suicides won’t do it.
    It’ll probably take more than a few.
    You do know I suppose about the current investigation going on into INZ corruption by one of its staffers over the RSE scheme? I don’t expect much to come of it -guess who is investigating.
    The spin-meisters are working overtime in the background – shame they can no longer call in T&C (by way of edict from above) for an ‘independent’ view.
    But thank the almighty Heavens they at least managed to get rid of one eh? – on to better and brighter things as a Hamilton City councillor. Whoar – I really wish I was so tough as HE, although He has managed to leave behind a mate or two to carry on the cause

    • Tim, I don’t know whether I do know this – who is investigating ? – but your comments sent me back rereading Mike Treen last night, hence my belief that there’d be a case in contract law, just on that one aspect. And what’s more, Immigration NZ’s own in-house lawyers should be telling them that, and if they’re not, then they may be incompetent, or dishonest, or something else. I’m hoping to run it past a lawyer.

      Sometimes – and selectively- NZ’ers living overseas can enlist their local embassy or consulate if they’re in trouble, and it’s a great shame that the embassies of N Z’s victims can’t be utilised more.

      Minister Iain Less-Galloway is 41,and he could be dealing with public servants 20 years older than himself, and with many collective years of in-house wiles and foxiness and getting their own way – and that may not matter were they were behaving decently, but they are not, and worse, they may not know that they’re not, and chances are that the misery they cause other people could be avoided with joined-up policy – and a bit of fearlessness in the face of middle NZ.

      (This is where the violins start playing, plaintively.)

      • For all intents and purposes, they’re effectively investigating themselves. And no doubt ‘processes and procedures will be implemented going forward to ensure there can’t be any possibility of fraudulent activity in this space’ (Until the next time)
        I was thinking though (and it didn’t even hurt) that if ever there was an issue that each of the coalition members of gummint might agree on – it’d be the state of MBIE.
        Shane should be wanting to out-Emperor the MBIE Emperor; Greens who have a concern for the effects of our immigration policy; and Labour – kind of yea/nah likewise. It’s actually possible that the problem is within Labour’s right and the really right faction in NZ1 thinking we should probably just kick the can down the road and see which way the wind blows.

        • Well Tim, if the Greens have concern for immigration policy, perhaps they could consider whether there is a contradiction in terms for the PM to rightly receive world acclaim for her post ChCh mosques tragedies saying that we are all one, that we are all NZ’ers, and Immigration NZ adding – until we change the rules again and turf you out.

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