An Open Letter to Jacinda Ardern from the Migrant Workers of New Zealand.


Dear Jacinda

We are the Migrant Workers of New Zealand. We are here on Work Visas and Students Visas. Many of us have partners here, and children.

As Covid19 sweeps the world we watch the news from our home countries with fear for the wellbeing of our families, but fear also for our own futures.

As we turn the corner though your leadership Prime Minister has been inspiring not only to all of us in New Zealand, but the world.

We thank you for your strength, your compassion and your determination to protect as all, regardless of our nationality, race or religion. Yes, Prime Minister, in this crisis, We Are One.

But Prime Minister, now we ask you to please, think of us.

Many of use are Essential Workers. While you have told the country to stay at home many of us have worked long and hard, placing ourselves and our families at risk from this deadly virus. We work in the supermarkets where kiwis continue to shop, we deliver the food to those stores, we grow and pick the food that kiwis eat while staying at home, we care for your at risk elderly in the retirement homes, we drive the trucks and the buses that have kept the country running.

We are essential, but we do the work because we love this country, and we love the people and we want to contribute to making this the best country on earth to live in.

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But Prime Minister, before we were deemed “essential” to the country your government, and the previous government have been telling us something different. We were told that we were not skilled, we were toldthat we can’t stay here because we don’t get paid enough, we were told that after 3 years of doing the exact same essential work we were no longer needed, we were told that our children were not allowed to go toschool, that our partners couldn’t be here with us.

Many of us came to New Zealand as international students. We chose New Zealand because the New Zealand schools hired education agents who told us that study here was a pathway to residency, Education New Zealand told us that study here was a pathway to residency and Immigration New Zealand told us that study here was a pathway to residency.

After coming here and paying our money to study, your government then told us that this was a lie, and in that there was no pathway to Residency and your Immigration Minister, like his predecessor, suggested that we were somehow the ones at fault for believing what we were told..

In our desperation we were forced to work in jobs that made us vulnerable to exploitation, but Prime Minister it is the immigration system which is broken.

Prime Minister, I think now you understand that we are essential to New Zealand. We will risk our lives for the country that we have fallen in love with. For the country where our children go to school. For the country where we have settled and placed our roots. We provide the essential work for this country not just in a crisis, but every single day that we go to work.

We do it because as Covid 19 has shown; we are all human beings, we live and work together, and we are all part of this community.

Prime Minister, please understand that we are scared.

We are scared that there are Ministers in your cabinet who hate us, that want us to leave, who call us names and try to incite hatred towards us. We are scared that having settled here with our families, some for more than a decade, that you will now throw us out when times get tough. We are scared that people will now

claim that we are stealing their jobs, despite us already doing these same jobs for so many years when nobody else wanted to do them.

Prime Minster, we are scared that after now showing you that we are essential to this country, when things improve, you will no longer tell us that We Are One.

Prime Minister, when you were elected you said that your government would show Compassion and Empathy. We now beg you to show compassion and empathy to the migrant workers on the front line, fighting and working to keep New Zealand united.

Please consider our proposal Prime Minister:

  • Give us a genuine pathway to residency. If we have been working, paying our taxes, and obeying the laws of the country allow us to stay permanently with our partners and children.
  • We are not asking you to allow new people to come to here because New Zealanders now need jobs, but those of us who are already working are needed as well to keep the businesses running. We have the experience, the skills and knowledge. Let us help rebuild the country and we can train the New Zealanders now looking for work.
  • Ease the burden on an overwhelmed and over worked Immigration Ministry. Allowing us to gain our residency by simply keeping our job, with a good employer will reduce massively the workloads that Immigration New Zealand have with Resident and Work Visa processing.
  • A system that allows migrant workers to obtain residency will fit in perfectly with the work that your government is doing around Employer Accreditation. We want to work with good employers, with good workplace practices. The new Accredited Employer policies will allow us to do that.
  • Much of the migrant worker exploitation exists because migrant workers will allow themselves to be exploited in desperation to attain the pathway to residency that many Education Agents sold to us as international students. Creating a genuine and simple pathway to residency for migrant workers will eliminate so much of the exploitation that your government has made a priority.
  • Reinvigorate the Export Education Industry. Identify the qualifications that we desperately need: health, technology, construction and trades. Create a transparent and simple pathway to residency for students who attain those qualifications and can then work on rebuilding New Zealand. The tertiary institutes will benefit, and the industries that need graduates will benefit. Many of us workers will be happy to invest money in education if you tell us what we need to study to obtain residency.
  • By providing a pathway to residency we can then bring money from our home countries, we can invest in New Zealand and transfer our assets here. Something we were unable to do before without the certainty of being able to stay here.


Finally, Prime Minister. Take a decisive stand against and make New Zealand’s mark in the world. Show us that compassion and empathy is for all people regardless of race, religion or nationality.

Show the world not only how to defeat the Covid19 Virus, but to defeat the virus of racism and xenophobia. Show the world that We Are One.

The world is already watching us, now is the time to lead.
We have played our part; we have proven that We Are One. Now Prime Minister, we ask you to do the same.

Supported by:

Migrant Workers Association

Immigration Law Specialist – Alastair McClymont

Unite Union

One Union


  1. “Many of us came to New Zealand as international students. We chose New Zealand because the New Zealand schools hired education agents who told us that study here was a pathway to residency,..” i.e. intending colonists… and the vast majority of your exploitative employers are also colonists (economic migrants) themselves… large-scale migration raises accommodation costs and suppresses wages for the No Zealand born underclass of Aotearoa…

  2. Dear migrant workers, please look at your NZ visa. It has a period of time to work in NZ. This is normal around the world. You are supposed to leave when the time expires or when the visa conditions change. It happens all around the world.

    Dear migrants, many people study overseas, they do not expect other countries to give them permanent residency and citizenship after their degree or diploma.

    Dear migrants many people do work opportunities overseas, they do not expect other countries to push their own nationals into poverty and unemployment, when the work visa expires or changes, then you go home.

    Dear migrants, please stop expecting NZ ratepayers and taxpayers to pay for expensive infrastructure using massive debt, for more and more low waged or income less migrants to settle here when once they do, the rest of the taxpayers in NZ have to pay for their income top ups for the rest of their lives, taking away money from our declining social services.

    Dear migrants, please stop lobbying our government local and central, which has become addicted to migrant donations and lobbying cash that is generated by decades of lazy immigration into NZ and expect the locals to pay for the folly with their kids futures being void as NZ spirals into the low waged poverty and precariat situation, like the situation where many migrants come from now.

    Dear migrants and neoliberals please stop lobbying our government to think that tobacco and liquor are essential services here.

    Dear migrants please remember that locals want that supermarket/cafe/low waged job too, but now don’t get it because there are so many people paying under the table to work here.

    Dear migrants please remember we used to help our neighbours first for migration opportunities like Pacific Islanders and Australians.

    Dear migrants, please remember we have a treaty of Waitangi which needs to be upheld as NZ as a bicultural nation which is what our country was founded on. The rise of multiculturalism in NZ does not seem to be working for anybody else under the treaty. In fact it is leading to more hate crimes, legal action and abuse from the migrant community.

    Dear migrants, please remember other governments don’t give a free pension to migrant parents for the next 30 years or so, when they have paid no/minimal taxes in their country while telling their own Nationals that they need private retirement (Kiwisaver) payments as well as taxes to pay for their pensions of the future.

    Dear migrants please understand that migrant pensioners are now more in number in NZ than Maori and Pacific Islander pensioners combined and expected to triple in the future so it is clearly a burgeoning issue that apparently nobody is allowed to talk about, let alone stop the insane policy that will bankrupt NZ going forward.

    Dear migrants please remember other countries don’t give free retirement aged care to migrant parents spiking NZ retirement demand and expecting the NZ taxpayers to create a ponzi for nurse aids in retirement villages when over 100,000 of NZ pensioners are now migrants themselves needing the care. That is called a ponzi.

    Dear migrants, please remember that our aged parents, disabled in need of support workers, children in care should expect a cultural fit looking after them, with excellent communication, not the cheapest person the agency can find and very poor outcomes for them.

    Dear migrants, please remember that, other governments don’t give free health and education care to entire migrant families. They have to pay for these themselves while they work in the foreign country.

    Dear migrants, please remember that other governments do not give benefits and assisted wages and accomodation for other nationals within 2 years of coming, to be supported by others in NZ.

    Dear migrants please be aware that other countries don’t have 10% of all migrants becoming permanent residents or NZ citizens in the past 15 years with no income.

    Dear migrants, please do not come to NZ on temporary visas and have children here. It is victimising your own children by using them to try to get permanent residency here. Wait until you have the visa status you require before having children.

    So, dear migrants of NZ, please do not come here if you do not understand the conditions of your visas. The word temporary means what it says.

    Many migrants come to NZ and make a significant contribution. But the amount of people coming to NZ is too high (third highest mass immigration in the world) and NZ nationals are now facing record poverty, record incompetence in many industries like construction, record low income housing shortages, record water shortages and record environmental degradation, that we have never seen before in our entire history, so please go home and lobby your own country to change. NZ’s changes with mass migration does not seem to be benefiting our country in a good way.

    • Dear migrant workers, it is simply not feasible for New Zealand to have 250,000 people on temporary work visas and another 100,000 “students” with full work rights at a time when unemployment is rocketing for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. When I myself have worked in other countries on temporary work visas, I knew my situation was exactly that – temporary.

      While it’s certainly true that many New Zealanders weren’t prepared to work at some jobs for poor wages (a situation greatly exacerbated by the huge pool of temporary migrant workers willing to work for less), times have changed. New Zealanders are now prepared to expand their employment horizons into new fields in response to the rapid decline in their current employment prospects. Sorry, but New Zealand needs those 350,000 jobs back for its own citizens and permanent residents. That was always the deal for anyone on a “temporary” work visa in this country.

    • Respect for putting it so nicely. 110% agree. A student visa is not a pathway to perm residence or citizenship.

    • Excellent.

      Keep it coming, savenz.

      Absolutely great rebuttal of all the B.S heartstrings being pulled and all the woke manipulations that they try on the NZ public. Well said.

    • 100%
      As much as I feel for people who have pinned hopes on getting residence, to demand that is deserving of reality.
      It is not a good option for NZ.
      Student given a visa to study, is a privileged not a right.
      Study and take the wealth of that knowledge home where both you and your country will profit.

    • Thanks , you said it all for me . I remember a time when New Zealand was free of the matters you raise.

  3. We have someone in UK in the same situation. He is an English decent NZ citizen, born here, yet in lockdown cannot get any assistance even though he has worked and payed taxes for three years. Maybe your own country can help you like we are hoping NZ will help him.

  4. Nope, sorry! Time to look after our own citizens! We don’t want or need economic migrants right now.
    Any lefties supporting this would be well advised to know that IF Labour (same as National) try to continue to undermine the income & home affordability of BORN New Zealanders by again flooding our country this way…will be made an example of. You are traitors to this country. It’s very ironic that it took Covid19 to establish even a dialogue around mass migration here. We have been shut out and any debate around this issue suppressed by the ‘woke’ screamers branding anyone who did as racist xenophobes!
    Surely, born citizens have the right to decide who & how MANY migrants we let into this our own country!

  5. While I feel for their plight, there are untold millions, if not billions in worse situations around the world whom Aotearoa and it’s people cannot save. The “pressure release valve” of Australia is no longer available to NZers in times of economic contraction as it was in the past. So now those who are here temporarily on work visas etc must relieve the pressure and social-unheaval caused by the soon to be high levels of unemployment and return from whence they came and rebuild their lives there. Mass immigration has never made life better for the indigenious people of Aotearoa and it certainly won’t now.

    • Well said.

      It took a scummy virus to wrack the truth out of those who saw unbridled immigration settings as their path to riches at the expense of all the rest of us. Great comment.

  6. One thing that has been pretty consistent in New Zealand since colonisation.
    Migrant workers are welcome when they are needed to do the jobs that nobody here wants to do, but as soon as the jobs run dry they are as welcome as a ham sandwich at a Jewish wedding.
    Think the Chinese who were needed to build the railway network, and later went on to establish the big market gardens that have served us so well until being bought up by faceless corporates.
    Think the Pasifika people – Samoans, Fijians etc brought over in the 70s to work in factories when New Zealand still made a lot of its own products.
    And more recently the workers from India, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and of course China to build houses, drive the buses, make the chicken fried rice and milk the cows.
    Our country would not be what it is without them. Without them our small population would have been incapable of building the infrastructure and economy that we have now.
    I was talking to a person just yesterday about the virus, economy etc. He started dumping on Asians claiming the virus was all their fault and why were they in this country anyway? taking “all our jobs” as he put it.
    I suggested to him that the Asians largely do jobs that Kiwis either can’t or don’t want to do and if they weren’t there who would do them? To his credit, he actually stopped and thought about it for a few moments, but only a few.
    Some Kiwis, particularly the political right, believe that the Asians think that we owe them a living. They don’t think it is unfair to bring people in to live here, with their families, for as long as they are needed and them dump them when it suits them. I don’t think that Asians feel that we owe them a living, but they do feel that when they have lived and worked in New Zealand for a long time that they have earned the right to be treated equally when economic conditions deteriorate.
    Kiwis that go to Australia complain about how the Australian government dumps on them in similar circumstances, but can’t see that they are doing the same themselves to other immigrant workers.

    • Mike the Lefty, NZ needs to have reciprocal visa conditions, NZer’s can’t get free welfare, citizenship and pensions overseas and live there forever on the state, then migrants shouldn’t expect to here, either! It’s crazy!

      Loads of NZ’s do work experience in the UK, we don’t then demand to stay if there is no job for us.

      NZ is subjugating it’s own people to poverty out of woke stupidity and neoliberal cruelty.

      • And it’s not just the current NZer’s being subjugated, it’s the next generation, that will suffer too and the ones after.

    • Mike the Lefty. Yes, using people when they are needed, and then dumping them, is one of the historically ugliest faces of capitalism. Just because other countries do it is no justification for us behaving as badly.

      Student visas have long been touted as a pathway to NZ residency, and many, possibly the majority of Asian students’ families have made huge financial sacrifices to enable them to come here and study. Where they have been led to believe that they would be able to establish permanent residency, they should have a case to take to the Commerce Commission – if they have the standing to do so.

      It is a moral issue, and a grubby one, deliberately engineered by dirty politics politicians, and we become party to it if we accept such cynical exploitation. NZ workers’ wages have been kept down by having a pool of overseas workers to call on, and the said overseas workers are then told that they don’t get paid enough to stay here. How twisted is that ?

      Just do not forget that Bill English labelled our young men work-shy druggies to justify bringing in cheap overseas labour – and this is all part of the evil exploitation of the exploitable, by unsavoury political bosses.

      The concomitant issues of bringing in dependent old rellies etc, are clearly ill-thought through, and need to be seen and addressed as separate issues, rather than as a basis for xenophobia.

      This is what Britain did to West Indians and Pakistanis post WW11 and it has been going on throughout heartland America for decades, and who benefits ?

      Trying to preserve the status quo of enticing people here – universities wooing them – using them – then dumping them, helps only the very few at the top who own the means of production and reap the big bucks, and we are fools playing into their hands by going along with it.

      This is a terrible time to be adding to the anxiety of frightened people – but bullying is something that New Zealanders are expert at, beating and killing women and children and babies, so dehumanising a bunch of badly-paid brown skinned foreigners is childs’ play for the unscrupulous.

      Because moral issues are an alien concept in neoliberal philosophy, and because scapegoating is pernicious and dangerous, the United Nations – ideally – may be the best forum for this modern semi-slavery to be addressed – it is a global phenomenon, and we are now a soiled part of it.

      So many of us have forebears who were subject to horrific exploitation here and elsewhere, that I can only conclude we’re genetically damaged if we endorse others being treated as badly.

      • I see many well dressed Asian students driving late model cars,happily ensconced in warm apartments… I see many of our own people living on the streets and have read of whole family’s living in cars.

        This is not the 1860’s and most of us don’t mine gold in Otago for a living anymore. It is the year 2020.

        My priorities are with our own people before any other foreigners demands.

  7. The letter above is addressed to the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. It is for her to answer as she sees fit. But it is an open letter, so I assume that you, the authors, wish the people of Aotearoa to also respond and to endorse your plea.
    While I have sympathy for migrant workers (one of my ancestors was also a migrant farm worker) I will not endorse your letter and here is why. You were invited to New Zealand by the colonial state which claims sovereign jurisdiction over these islands. You will have seen the colonialist character of that state even more clearly than many New Zealanders. To you it would have seemed at least strange, and more likely bizarre, that the British monarch was still Head of State of New Zealand and that all new citizens were required to pledge allegiance to the British Queen. You were in no doubt that the Realm of New Zealand is a colonialist state.
    Having arrived here, you would have seen and learned that our people have been treated harshly through the colonial system. We, like you, have been ruthlessly exploited by a succession of colonial governments and colonial capitalists.
    You say that you are scared of the government and the people of New Zealand, yet in the next breath you say you love this country.
    Well you have no need to be scared of our people who bear you nothing but good will, and you must not allow yourselves to be scared of the government, because this is a government that through 180 years has ruled through fear, and only fear allows it to continue in power.
    I cannot answer for Jacinda Ardern, but I can tell you that she will act in the interests of the colonial regime. Her words may be compassionate, but her actions will be strictly utilitarian.
    If you do indeed love our people, then instead of making fearful pleas to an iniquitous colonial regime, make yourself an honorable place among the fighting people of Aotearoa.
    Kia kaha, kia manawanui.

    • Interesting… the ‘fighting people of Aotearoa’.

      I like it. Stand up and fight for the people of Aotearoa. Become one of us. Don’t just seek what you can take at our expense. Then you are welcome.

  8. Funny enough, now the migrants are too lazy to work, just like the drugged out Kiwis in the burgeoning low wage business model and all these ‘wonderful’ businesses have been shown to be the scam that they are with people operating multiple low wage businesses, sponsoring people in, who don’t sound like people of good character, desperate to help NZ employers and the DHB’s, once they too are able to secure a benefit, like the Kiwis!

    The wage subsidy is a joke and should have been used as a UBI, for NZ citizens and long term permanent residents only (aka NZ’s wind rush generation who paid taxes and lived here much of their lives). Not scammers on scammers bringing the world’s precariat workers to NZ and charging them $30k, while thousands demand free residency from the Kiwis and our government hands out free taxpayers cash to keep the ponzi going strong.

    Many people who have been attracted to NZ are not the type of people we want. If anything the Covid highlights NZ’s failed immigration experiment, and the government encouraging scam labour and non robust businesses to burgeon out of control, while jettisoning policy to get high paid jobs for high skilled people to stay in the country.

    You no longer need any numeracy, or even English to be a supermarket/retail/fast food worker in NZ. It may surprise dumbed down NZ but a “computer” and “software” actually does all the work for retail and calculates the supermarket purchase, goes to supply chain and does all the accounting! Hence our laughable essential skills are jobs that the illiterate can do with no English or even literacy. Yippee, another essential skill scam into NZ!!!

    NZ’s scam idea of essential workers of chefs and burger flippers has become an echo chamber. And we are never going to get the next Apple, Microsoft or Amazon, because our government and media don’t even understand how the modern world increasingly works. They fail to invest in people here who want to run legitimate businesses or be paid well.

    An economy improves when workers become highly skilled, and it isn’t by making the economy filled to the brim with more and more low paid workers running liquor stores, tobacco factories, b&b’s and supermarkets whose welfare is increasingly falling onto the rest of the country to prop up and it’s bankrupting the country from the councils to the government borrowing to keep the ponzi afloat.

  9. I note a couple of unions help with this letter yet where are they when it comes to protecting these workers from exploitation.
    We had a case in Chch where the owner of 15 Liquor Store was underpaying staff. How could this go on if the u ion where on the case. They get their union dues but are weak in looking after their members. The unions have a Labour COL but seem to have little power . Some hard calls are going to have to be made about who gets to work over the next 4-5:years and I a afraid this government does not have the backbone to make some unpleasent but necessary calls. Jacinda has built a reputation of being nice but has failed to be forceful when her cabinet members do the wrong thing.

    • In case you are not aware, unions’ priority is actually to look after their own members first. That is what members pay their subs for. The same way that any club or society looks after their members first.
      If a union widens its activities to speak up for non-members, as many do, they do it for free but do it all the same out of general concern for the well-being of others.
      But concern for people’s well-being, other than yourself, wouldn’t count for much in your planet, would it?

    • Don’t get too high on your horse Trev. Most of the 350,000 temporary workers and “students” with full work rights in New Zealand entered the country under the previous National government. It is now the current Labour-led government’s responsibility to attempt to clean up the mess their predecessors left behind.

    • Trevor – If, as happens fairly frequently, the liquor store owner is an Indian breaking the law of this country, then they should be returned to where they come from; these are the people most of us dislike; the serial liquor store owners who come here, make a fortune on the liver of boozy Kiwis, build vulgar John Key-type mansions, and rip off their own, often intimidated people. Indian restaurant owners do likewise, to their own people.

      New Zealand citizenship is a privilege, and any immigrant law breaker should forfeit their right to retain citizenship, regardless of race.

      The laws are based on our values, and our values have traditionally not accommodated the degrees of corruption commonplace in some Asian cultures, and abiding by the law of this land should be a condition
      of citizenship.

      Minor infringements like David Clark’s are a different kettle of fish, and so far as we know, others weren’t affected in the major way the liquor store workers were by business owners intentionally breaking employment law.

      I don’t see rich liquor store proprietors as making a particularly constructive contribution to NZ society – nor the rich lolly makers either, but both are legal pursuits, and they must be made to stay legal if we don’t want to end up as corrupt as some of the countries they come from. It’s not a big ask, and not racist, and the legal system is the appropriate forum for dealing with them – or it should be, otherwise there is no point in having laws at all. The PM’s backbone is irrelevant.

      • 100% Snow White!!! Especially the part about ripping off their own and building vulgar John Key style mansions. No taste, no morals, and preying on their own. Send them back overseas.

      • “New Zealand citizenship is a privilege, and any immigrant law breaker should forfeit their right to retain citizenship, regardless of race.

        The laws are based on our values, and our values have traditionally not accommodated the degrees of corruption commonplace in some Asian cultures, and abiding by the law of this land should be a condition
        of citizenship.”
        I have often wondered why this is not a requirement of an immigrant gaining citizenship. Yes it should be.

  10. “Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future. It is part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family.”
    Ban Ki-moon

    … reading the tirades from some of the commentators made in this blog, one can only wonder what they think why and how their ancestors came to settle in AO/NZ…

    • @manfred staab As for how their ancestors came to settle in AO/NZ…

      Well is certainly wasn’t in a few hours on an airline with inflight nuts and entertainment with $50,000+ in their pockets to buy residency, and this country providing them with free health care, education and a state pension given for nothing….

      • Thank you very much for the feedback…

        With all due respect. Please allow some clear words:

        – These tirades are often a demagogic mishmash very appealing to xenophobic resentments existing among some kiwis (and individuals of other countries).

        – These tirades are distorting reality through busy promotion of anecdotal cases and not placing those inside the context of the global and national political economy.

        – These tirades appear constantly insulting to a large group of NZ citizens and residents.

        Sorry true, I fail to understand how such style of continuous denunciation can qualify as left (or centre-left) policy statement.

        …..are we on a crusade, or what?

    • Yes , but back then in the 19th century there was no dole. It was a more or less homogeneous group, – the UK , – and the whole concept of British Imperialism was an accepted way of thinking to further ones own ends.

      This not the 19th century, it is the year 2020. We not only have long won our independence, but have also gone through many turbulent political changes of our own. Not least of which , is the rapacious neo liberal paradigm of 1984 to the present day.

      And it is THAT , – which has put enormous pressure on this country and its citizens. And with the unbridled immigration settings under the last National govt to provide cheap labour and bolster a housing bubble to create ‘paper millionaires’ to secure votes, coupled with cynically importing so many Chinese who tend to vote National, this has had a massively adverse effect both socially and economically on NZ citizens.

      It is unfortunate that it took this ugly virus to force the issue and expose the political and financial agendas of so many on the far right.

      I guess that only goes to show,… there is always a silver lining if one looks hard enough into the issues.

      • Thanks for your comment and the explanation given, @Wild Katipo.

        Yes, migration is a big human issue. It always has been…..

        Probably, it will become an even more important subject, for a number of reasons outside the direct control of most national governments (global population growth, destruction of ecosystems, ‘quasi-permanent wars’ led against some countries and regimes, etc.).


        Do we want to replicate the migration policies of, for example, the US (building border fences, heavy militarization of the border area), the EU for example, (letting migrants drown in large numbers in the Mediterranean Sea, concentration-style refugee camps in the border regions), or, for example Australia (concentration camp-style refugee camps on remote islands)… and all sorts of other impediments and punishments, worldwide…?

        Is this were we have come to in 2020?

        Are these the political structures that will enable transformational change of our society?

        Are these the elements of a society that will allow us to adapt to climate change?

        Certainly not.

        Let us think differently.

        System Change. Now.

        • No we don’t want to look like the failed fascist state the USA, but we do need to listed to people like Wild Katipo and Save NZ. They are so right – mass immigration has been used in NZ for so long to drive down wages and conditions, and create a massive brain drain.

          We used to have a managed immigration policy, but not any longer. No one is saying ban immigration. We’re saying lets take back control of this runaway train, and make it serve the people, not right wing politicians and big business.

          • Thanks for comment @nukefacts.

            No problem with recognizing the build-up of frustration and anger…


            Immigration policy cannot be used to substitute or correct social and economic shortcomings, historical and more recent inequalities and exploitation schemes from within the existing structure of society.

            • Say what? Sort, the logic of your last paragraph totally escapes me. You seem to be saying that even if immigration policy causes a social or economic shortcoming then it can’t be used to remedy that shortcoming. That is totally illogical.

              Here’s a simple thought experiment. Let’s allow totally open immigration for 5 year working visas, give all those immigrants access to all state support given to citizens, then sit back and see what happens.

              Pretty easy to predict – massive immigration from all round the world, a total race to the bottom for wages and conditions, and massive infrastructure problems housing and transporting those people. So GDP per capita will drop, the country will become poorer in real terms, and huge numbers of NZ’ers will be out of a job.

              Very easy to fix by turning off the open immigration and having the immigrants leave at the end of their five year term. QED – your comment is illogical and nonsensical.

              • Thanks, @nukefacts.

                Migration is not the root cause of the present problems.

                The problematic causes are rooted within the contradictions of different sectors of society and solutions should be found there.

                E.g. Manipulations on the migration number will not change existing ethnic-based advantages / disadvantages in the Pakeha / Maori relationship.

      • Yes mine came to “make” in an undeveloped country , those that come today, come to “partake.”

  11. Does this sound like a quality masters program at Auckland University which is relentlessly promoted online….

    Further your career with a Master of Public Policy. Study online and complete in 2 years

    The comments section has things like

    “Public policy learned privately in your bedroom. Seems scammy”

    “Like the public policy that the Department of Building and Housing does not recognise Auckland University’s architecture degrees, even the post graduate one. Paid those idiots for nothing but a scam.”

    “It’s appalling that such a qualification even exists. It’s a nothing job that contributes nothing to the world and only costs money paid by people who actually do stuff.”

    “God, I can imagine the bullshit in this degree. Is it run by the humanities? University has become a farce”

    “Well that will get you a job at McDonald’s”

    “Education has become a for profit, sheople control business, ruining education from the inside out. Greed is ruining this world.”

    So why would Auckland University sully their name and everyone who has a degree there with this online degree… well someone has to pay for the Parnell Mansion … and they have shredded all the specialist books

    You wonder how you can prevent cheating with an online course like this. But of course if your turn a blind eye, wink, wink…

  12. Here is Kimsan,

    24 years old, from Siem Reap, Cambodia. His father is a small rice farmer, his mother raises some livestock.

    He has two sisters and one younger brother,

    Kimsan completed his studies in agricultural business at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato and ponders finding work.

    Somewhere, somehow.

    When he was a small boy, during meetings with other villagers in the community hall, he was regularly sitting with his father under a large poster showing a beautiful landscape, reading “Study in New Zealand. Become a responsible future leader. Make your own destiny and life.”

    He liked it.

    From eight to twelve years of age he studied English in evening courses at the Australian Centre for Education. The fees for the course were saved and paid by his older sister who operated a small local convenience store in Phnom Penh.

    When he was forteen, he and his older sister were invited to an “Educational Fair” at the 5-Star Cambodiana Hotel, and several educational institutions from Australia and New Zealand presented their services in glamorous leaflets, impressive media presentations, combined with snacks, and the offered opportunity to obtain free scholarships.

    The fair was co-organized by the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NZ High Commission and the local chamber of the Australia-New Zealand business organization.

    In length they talked about different visa pathways, too.

    Kimsan ate a small shortbread while his sister collected the brochures with the fees and application processes from the stalls of the different exhibitors.

    In the evening, the whole Kimsan family met at the riverside for a joint hot-pot soup. The family of the uncle attended, too, and so did grandparents and some more distant relatives, twenty persons altogether.

    The older sister made a calculation: if Kimsan would study in New Zeland for three years, it would probably cost around 150.000 to 200.000 US$, the total package plus a share of the cost of living, transportation etc.

    No one in the Kimsan family had this amount of money.

    But this is Asia.

    Everyone at the hot-soup table made a commitment to support Kimsan. The father with some bags of rice. The mother with several pigs and ducks. The older sister with the shop’s income for three months. The younger sister with a share from her low salary at the garment factory. The younger brother with a share of his small tuk-tuk income…and so on.

    Twenty people sharing their expected incomes for the next 3-5 years. This is how Kimsan came to study in Hamilton.

    I met him once during school holidays. “How are things in Aotearoa”? I asked. He did not say much. “A beautiful country, and they really like the All Blacks”. “And I like the Steinlager beer”.

    “Did you see something of the country?” “No, I don’t have the money to travel, but I want to go to Queenstown.”

    “And, any new friends, how are the kiwi ladies?”, I asked again. “No one from New Zealand”, he said, but I met a guy from Myanmar, and we cook together.” “The kiwi students don’t like the smell of fried rice and fish.”

    Kimsan has been in NZ three years now. He is a qualified agriculturist. He is looking for a job.

    He would like to work in New Zealand, but considers work anywhere else, too.

    Main thing is, he needs to generate some income.

    ….in the meantime his younger sister had an accident in the garment factory and lost one hand. She received a compensation of 50 $ from her employer, a very famous US brand.

    And then there is Covid-19.

    Most important. There is a commitment he has to settle. Most important!

    This is Kimsan. He is a good man.

    Welcome him as a potential migrant worker. Perhaps as a future citizen.

    • manfred staab – this is our working poor thanks to government policy that lowers wages and conditions through massive immigration scams, so that we now have huge working poor in this country and it’s getting worse!

      This is
      TA, aged 11, living at the marae, her mother, father and five siblings had been living in their van since February.

      She said she only slept some nights, and while her mother had a job it was not enough for the family to afford a place to live.

      “There’s no space for by yourself. But we shower at my mum’s job, in the morning.”

      “They’re not happy, but they’re okay. They’re all sick, even I’m sick right now.”

      She said she had just missed out on a scholarship to St Cuthbert’s College, made all the more difficult because of the family’s living conditions.

      “The hardest part is actually not being able to read in the van, because you don’t have space. They’re all up in your face,” she said.

      “And there’s not much light because it would waste the battery [so] I can’t read.”

      “It just made me push myself more to do better.”

      With roughly 30 families taking shelter at Te Puea, TA said it was nice to have some space.

      “It’s cool how they opened up their doors to us, but we just want a house.”

      “And they have good food … we used to have takeaways but we’re all sick of takeaways.”

      COL got elected on reducing immigration, they haven’t, constantly manipulated by the migrants workers lobbying methods.

      • We both know that these conditions are disgusting. Certainly it is a political priority to solve those.

        The situation of TA is hardly related to migrant workers or migration policy.

        Her matter is deeply rooted in socio-economic inequalities within the NZ society and some Pakeha carrying major responsibility for these to exist.

        • TA’s mother has a job – immigration is dropping her wages.

          UK datas shows, for every 10% growth in immigration there is an approx 2% reduction in wages.

          (So it follows for all the many low wage industries which are represented by 30%+ migrant workers in NZ for example, the pay rates will drop approx 6% instead of increasing with inflation over time that becomes significant because it’s not just the drop of wages its the lack of pay increases over time that drives those into poverty…)

          “The report suggested that an increase in the ratio of foreign-born workers to UK-born workers in lower-paid service occupations caused a small but significant reduction in the average pay for low paid workers in that region.

          It found that a 1.88% reduction in pay for semi-skilled and unskilled service workers would be expected to follow, on average, a 10% increase in the proportion of immigrants working in those jobs in a particular region.

          Examples of jobs in this category include child minders, cleaners, shop assistants, call centre staff, bar staff and postal workers.

          The reduction in average pay for semi-skilled and unskilled service workers is mainly due to a drop in wages for low-paid workers born in the UK. A small part is because immigrants tend to be paid less than native workers, bringing the average down further.”

          In NZ wages have dropped to the point where we now have homeless families who are in work, something that NZ has never had before.

  13. This is the type of migrant we welcome – Lovepreet Brar arrived in New Zealand from the Punjab on 13 November 2010, less than a month after his 18th birthday. He enrolled in a management diploma at ICL Graduate Business School for 1 one year diploma.

    The main attraction was what came with the education: the opportunity to work while studying, and a path to residency on the other side.

    Brar had one singular objective through all this: New Zealand residency. To become eligible he needed to tick a number of boxes, including English proficiency, a tertiary qualification, and a level of income – as well as a managerial title. So when his former boss at Layaway Depot contacted him to ask why he’d left, he levelled with him about what he needed for his ultimate goal. By the week’s end Brar was a store manager at Layaway Depot Otāhuhu.

    “I applied for my residency and I got my residency sorted in three months.”

    After a few years he got a job AA at Meadowlands in east Auckland and was the go-between for applicants willing to pay bribes to corrupt testing officers.

    He liked the work, and his colleagues. “I was the only Indian guy there,” he says, “but there were testing officers too.” They were older and employed by Vehicle Testing NZ (VTNZ), but worked out of the AA offices and shared staff facilities. Brar became friendly with a pair of testing officers, Vinesh Kumar and Mohammed Feroz, often having lunch with them.

    One day he pulled into work when he saw a friend outside the office. The friend told him he’d just passed his driver licensing test, and Brar congratulated him on the achievement.

    “Bro, do you know it’s so easy to get a licence here?” his friend asked. “I paid $80 to the testing officer and he just gave me a licence – even though I did so many mistakes.”

    The scheme Brar had stumbled upon was run by Kumar and Feroz, who would pass those who had failed their tests in exchange for bribes. The pair suggested Brar join them as a sales funnel. Brar says he agonised, but was eventually persuaded. “I know it was my fault. I should not have been convinced, I should not have got involved,” he says. “It was the biggest mistake of my life.”

    “It was a mistake that made him a lot of money. In less than two years he received over $56,000 into his bank accounts, spread over 107 transactions. He says the amount he retained was less, but it’s also true that many applicants paid in cash. Police are still unsure of either the total number of licences issued, or the amount of money the scheme netted those involved, but a police source close to the investigation believes it was likely more than $100,000.”

    He is now resisting his deportation from NZ costing our country a fortune while he beomes a YouTube sensation, starring in videos that attract millions of clicks and often involve guns, flash cars and women.

    “One of his videos, titled Jail, shows Brar at a mansion surrounded by prestigious cars. He has a wound in his right arm but when the female character gives him first aid, armed with a knife, she appears to remove a bullet.

    The video has over 8 million views.

    Immigration New Zealand has told Stuff that Brar was issued with a deportation notice back in April.

    He has since appealed the decision to the Immigration Protection Tribunal.”

  14. Getting NZ residency and citizenship is too easy in NZ, it needs to take 10 -15 years to check the good character criteria is being met, our ease of citizenship is making NZ a target for the criminal classes.

    People are coming here, being born here and using their easily gained NZ status to commit frauds and crimes against NZ citizens. It’s truly disgusting! Today’s headline…..

    “Colour drained from real estate agent’s face as he realised he’d been defrauded of $120k in ‘sim hijacking’ scam”

    “It appeared the offender, who Stuff understands was born in New Zealand but his family moved to Hong Kong when he was only weeks old, returned in late 2019 with fraud on his mind.

    That involved the man, who is aged in his twenties, renting an Auckland apartment near SkyCity casino, getting a New Zealand driver’s licence, and recruiting several “cash mules” to help set-up bank accounts to wash the stolen cash through the casino.”

    • Immigration policy cannot be the substitute and correction valve for other shortcomings in society.
      Immigration policy cannot replace political handling of inequality, poverty, public safety and security, exploitation of human beings and natural resources.

      • SaveNZ is trying to point out is that immigration of the scale NZ has been operating for more than a decade has caused many of these problems. It’s led to a pushing down of real wages, caused infrastructure deficits, increased house prices, and reduced GDP per capita so made the country poorer in real terms. All to benefit the National party, lots of transnational businesses, and wokies to feel better about themselves.

  15. Drawing short-cut links between migrant workers and low wages is by no means a serious argumentation.

    Low wages in AO/NZ are the result of different capital strategies having allowed to unfold during the neoliberal charade.

    Some of rich set of capital tactics to be mentioned are ‘sub-legal’ employment, expansion of the informal sector, de-unionization of labour, ‘creative’ contract systems that avoid building up financial and social obligations, concentration on a very narrow range of actual products versus expansion of unproductive retail works and functions, insufficient diversification in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, de-facto monopolization of financial services, state interventions solely guided by capital interests, etc.

    As long as there is no different economic framework (e.g. as offered through a green new deal) the situation will remain.

    ……the 1-Dollar shop in Onehunga does not exist because there is a migrant owner. The Warehouse chain does not trade because of its migrant workers. The high profits from the banks channeled to Australia do not materialize annually because there is a migrant bookkeeper.

    All of these do exist because the AO/NZ economy has been explicitly orchestrated in a way to generate and maintain those sorts of businesses, as happened in many other countries, too.

    The existence of the migrant worker is not the root-cause of the problem. It is just one of the effects of global AND national capital strategies.

    Anything else is pure demagogy.

    Migrant-bashing instead of beneficiary-bashing? Certainly this does not qualify as policy statement from a left position.

    …. most probably, the socioeconomic consequences of climate change will shake up this house of cards anyway….

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