Migrant workers inside NZ desperate for inclusion in wage subsides and welfare (plus those unlucky enough to be outside the country when the borders closed) are begging and begging and begging and begging for kindness but with so many domestic NZers not feeling safe, the Government will want to avoid the possible voting backlash of helping migrant workers when domestic voters themselves are vulnerable.
To date, immigration to NZ has been exploitative and speculative. The Key Government opened the floodgates to immigration to prop up the speculative housing bubble and with massive downgrades in labour officers to police bad bosses, exploitation of migrant workers in NZ is a pandemic in of itself.
This exploitation pushes down wages for domestic workers while also forcing those domestic workers to compete for low cost housing with new migrant workers.
In 2018 we had 129 000 migrants for a population of almost 5 million.
Australia with 24 and a half million, allows in 190 000.
You can see the immediate difference when comparing NZ with Australia.
On top of that we have over 300 000 international students and workers with temporary work visas who have been obscenely exploited by a de-unionised job market and additional to that, we had almost 4 million tourists visiting us each year.
It is no wonder that our social and physical infrastructure is groaning under unsustainable gridlock while creating political friction.
Migrant Worker Amnesty:
We can’t entice migrant workers here, have them exploited by unscrupulous bosses and then tell them to piss off back home. That is cruel and nasty. We should offer an immediate amnesty to all migrant workers in NZ to become permanent residents BUT right after that amnesty, we must close all immigration until a vaccine is widely available. Employers will need to use the existing work force here if they want to expand, this would end the bullshit games of companies claiming no NZer wants to be a burger king manager or booze seller so we need to import those workers. You either pay proper wages to attract someone to your job or you don’t get an employee. Those migrant workers who left NZ as the borders closed however are not due any special protection or aid, they are simply the unlucky and a Government isn’t responsible for unlucky foreign workers.
Universal Union Membership for all migrant workers:
The ease with which exploitation of migrant workers is so rampant throughout NZ demands a response that is serious and only compulsory Union membership of all migrant workers will force the exploitation to end.
High Tech Migration:
Seeing as most of the planet will shut down and stay shut down to international tourism until a vaccine is available, you will only be focused on high end tourism who can afford the 2 weeks, backpackers and freedom campers are gone. We must also be open to tech companies wanting to relocate their head offices here so that people can live openly in a plague free environment which will quickly become our international selling point.
We also need to be prepared for a mass homecoming of the Kiwi diaspora who are feeling the pinch in Australia and Europe, who are looking at NZs distance as its saving grace now. We should reach out to them and say ‘there’s never been a better time to return Home’ campaigns and bring their expertise and skill sets back to NZ to help generate the next wave of Kiwi entrepreneurs we require to kick start the economy again in the new realty.
Our migration will surge from returning citizens and permanent residents making the needs of migrant workers even less likely to be heard or supported.
There are enormous structural changes coming our way in a post pandemic world and we need to see ourselves as one of the life boats on a climate crisis planet. Immigration is an area we need to urgently reform so that when external shocks occur, we are flexible enough to sustain them.
This pandemic hasn’t ended and it won’t end until there is a vaccine available.
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