To stop exploitation “ordinarily resident” New Zealanders need permanent residence

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Unite Union National Director Mike Treen says he welcomes the changes made to combat migrant workers exploitation.

It will make it easiest for individual workers to access the support they need to make complaints. get support and change employers if necessary.
However, over the last few decades New Zealand has created a system that creates exploitation again and again.
That system used the desire of residency to:
– Bring students and workers to New Zealand and charge them tens of thousands of dollars in fees to subsidise private and public education,
– Allow employers to tie the work visas they get to individual employers so it was im[possible to complain about treatment without risking their chance to get residency
– Change the rules on who qualifies for permanent residence after they have come to New Zealand so that they will never qualify and all they can do is keep renewing their visas for as long as possible.
These are effectively de-facto New Zealander who have made New Zealand their home for a decade or more. Many have children born in New Zealand who know no other life.
They also obviously have jobs that in any reasonable world would be considered “essential workers”. They are working in health care, on our farms, in our schools. They continue to fill critical roles in our society.
Employers want these workers to stay.
Now many of these workers are classified as “ordinarily resident” New Zealanders by the outgoing Minister of Immigration Iain lees-Galloway. they are the next category to be allowed back into New Zealand after New Zealand cirtzens who want to return are allowed back.
In my view, these “ordinarily resident” New Zealanders would have been allowed to become citizens in any fair immigration system and not exploited by the system in the way they have. They deserve to be treated the same as any other citizen.
Every migrant worker who is currently an “ordinarily resident” New Zealander should be fast-tracked to residency and taken off any visa that ties them to a particular employer.
The system of exploitation and indentured servitude has to be abolished.
New Zealand will not be able to bring in temporary workers or students for at least four or five years while this Pandemic circles the globe.
We have a chance to get rid of a system that depends on a permanent presence of hundreds of thousands of “temporary” visa holders with no hope of transitioning to residency once and for all.
This is a chance in a generation to do the right thing to those who have been so cruelly exploited and abused by the state as well as private employers.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Agreed.
    Kiwis would rightfully moan like hell if the rules of a rugby game were changed at will half-way through to disadvantage the team they supported.
    They’d moan like hell if the government administration not only lied to them in the first place in order to get them along to the match, but then sanctioned those new rules and enforced them.
    They’d rightfully be pissed off if any contract they’d signed was effectively meaningless and that any legal remedy they sought would be decided by the apparatus they were bonded to.

    They’d moan like hell if every aspect of their lives was driven by their employer or poorly monitored education provider. And they’d be pissed off to be told by the government administration that all this was “best practice” and that any relief was only possible on payment of another fee they couldn’t afford, and if they didn’t like it they could fuck off because their is no alternative. They should be lucky to have the job of wiping elderly bums for a pittance or being other mightier people’s (essential) servants. They should be grateful for the opportunity they’ve magnanimously been provided.

    And then when they sought some sort of remedy through their political representative who had the means, they’d find he was busy and ‘preoccupied’ with other matters – perhaps carnal in nature.

    The recent case of the Samoan trafficker and exploiter has temporarily caused some people to be oh so ‘shocked’. The CNN Project and the ILO have been banging on about this sort of stuff for years. Probably the same number of years that NZ chose to entrench and industrialise it all through its mega Ministry of Everything whereby it encouraged the vertical integration of charlatan immigration advisors being part of an employer or ‘export’ education provider rather than their being part of the legal profession or person’s advocacy group (such as a union). The Ministry of Everything – designed by that Brains of Britain of Novapay fame Mr fixit Joyce – that’s been complicit through its policies and practices that have driven down wages and conditions and allowed people waiting in queues they can now never hope to process. And that’s not to mention the academic research and report (by Dr Christina Stringer a few years ago) that should have been causing bells to be rung loudly. The mega Ministry that continues to bond employees to their master so that sometimes survival depends on criminal activity.

    The same Ministry for Everything with a mere pocket of ethical people on the one hand with genuine concerns, while on the other, an organisation that seeks to keep the churn going through under-resourcing, piss-poor policy and process, and an agenda that only views the value of a person based on their being an economic unit.
    Just so long as they can front up on Breakfast or Morning Report to tell us all now how the situation that’s been created and that they’ve been a part of through their employ is a major win. And if it does get any worse or embarrassing, we’ll have another restructure (rather than a dismantling).

    Don’t worry your pretty little heads though people, the men from the Ministry have it all under control, and anyway this is little ‘ole NuZull that punches above its weight and it can’t possibly be that bad. And in the overall scheme of things, we’re just talking about a few Dhalits and lesser beings that slipped through our demographic profiling

    (/sarc)

    • Well said Tim; this is shocking exploitation – and it is worse when we do it to the lower skilled people than those fortunate enough to be more marketable. I blame Bill English for most of this, dreadful wee man.

  2. Upgrading ‘ordinarily resident’ nurses, doctors, builders, plumbers, electricians and other skilled workers to permanent resident status is a great idea. Upgrading ‘ordinarily resident’ Uber drivers, fast food “restaurant managers”, dairy farm milkers and satellite families, not so much.

  3. MBIE do not do anything for the Ordinary Kiwi. They serve the Elites and beggar the Masses. This “Coalition” has done nothing to bring them (MBIE / INZ) and their (MBIE’s) unregulated mass low skill low pay Immigration Policies under Control. When was the NZ Public ever Consulted about this? We tried at the Ballot Box! We brought in a Govt. that said they’d Change It and they Haven’t.
    These MBIE “Policies” bring in well over 300,000 “Temporary Workers” annually on a Permanent Basis. The Faces change the numbers don’t.
    Shonkey even said NZ Wages would match Australian Wages. Never happened!
    How could it when we import the Worlds Desperately Poor to keep our Poor firmly bolted to the Floor. With no way for many NZ Residents of even getting a “Living Wage” never mind a “Comfortable” Wage when Employers can get Bucketloads of Cheap Labour at Bargain Basement Prices anytime they Lobby MBIE to bring more in…

    • Well how the neo-liberal public service works is as follows:
      Senior and muddle management ambitious public servants agree to provide their hapless Munster with fluid policy advice, lies, facts and alternative facts; and in return the hapless Munster agrees to tell the public he/she “has complete faith in their officials”. Sometimes, a blow job on the side might be necessary for the super ambitious ‘servant’ wanting to climb the ranks and put a few more entries on their CV.
      The hapless Munster also agrees to never follow or listen to the advice of people actually witnessing or experiencing life outside the bubble and cliques they operate in.
      If and when it ever comes to a point of embarrassment or the threat of change (such as having to be kind and transformational), the senior and muddle management public servants agree to provide their hapless Munster with a counter-narrative by whatever means necessary.
      The senior and muddle management public servants and hapless Munster jointly and severally also agree to leak, undermine, lie, obfuscate and/or do whatever is necessary to the media to satisfy a public. Especially easy when that public and politicians’ experience has grown up never experiencing anything else “in that space going forward”, and there are any number of people claiming membership to a 4th Estate wanting a scoop to feed their egos.
      The agenda is sustained, rather than sustainABLE growth at all costs, the market the market, and preservation of the staus quo, and its almost the perfect formula.

      Even if and when some bloody upstarts such as a Hipkins or a Little attempt change, the impact can only ever be minimal. (Good things take time, and Rome wasn’t built in a day even when the natives are getting restless). Those bloody upstarts will be faced with an army of people trained (sometimes self-taught) in the arts and sciences of self-improvement and management theory, and equipped with the language and buzz that would capture the minds of those equipped with the best bullshit detectors currently available.
      The upstarts Hipkins and Little can attempt legal reform and issue decrees for change, but they can only ever hope to realise their dreams when they’re able to effect a kulcha change by displacing the very people and structures that have put this ‘ecosystem’ in place and who/which intend fighting to the death.
      (The demographic profilers; the T&C commissioners; the holier-than-thou; the leakers intent on underminig change, transformation and kindness; the saboteurs; the ideologically-driven thick shits absent of any capacity for critical thought ……… are still firmly ensconced).

      We get what we deserve, and we get to decide and at least still send a message every three years

      • “We get what we deserve”

        Hell no! The Germans didn’t deserve Hitler, the Cambodians didn’t deserve Pol Pot, and Christchurch people didn’t deserve Gerry Brownlee.

        That’s just a self-serving phrase beloved of irresponsible scumbags.

    • Totally agree with the comments about MBIE.It is one of the public services worst departments and its only function is to support and encourage the protection of dodgy dealings and legal exploitation.A fine example of neoliberalisim at its finest.

  4. When I worked as a public servant in another nation, I spent some time on a panel of public servants, union delegates & employers assessing applications for working visas put up by employers wanting to hire staff from overseas. We were placed under pressure to approve a lot of visas, pressure which most of us resisted & many of those that didn’t, those who advocated issuing more visas were later found to be corrupt.
    In the past visas had been allocated to workers & their families on the basis of ‘defined skills shortages’ but that was problematic partly because immigration officers who worked in embassies overseas had no skills or training in assessing the skills & training of applicants & partly because Immigration were slow in recognising changes to the domestic labour market, then actioning that change. For far too long anyone who claimed proficiency in Windows 3.1 copped an automatic residence even though there were many in the labour market already with those skills who were unable to find work. The derps from immigration working in the embassies had no labour market knowledge whatsoever.
    This is a similar problem to that faced by Aotearoa, the deliberate move by government away from what the tories call ‘Labour Market Intervention’ has left the job of assessing candidates for work or residence visas in the hands of interested 3rd parties who could easily find kiwi workers if they were prepared to pay a decent wage/salary because cost cutting in hospitals, unis & other places of so-called ‘professional employment’ makes it economically justifiable to bring a doctor, nurse, academic in from overseas where the employers’ control over the migrant worker gives an employer incredible power.

    I realise Treen claims that these changes will prevent that, but they wont because the rules only control what happens here in Aotearoa not what is happening in the migrant’s nation of origin, where threats against family on behalf of a kiwi based employer are commonplace.
    Employers must be separated from any recruitment process, but more importantly a migrant worker should only be permitted if the employer agrees to undertake employment & training for a local unemployed person as well .
    Many kiwis are shocked to hear that it isn’t just kiwi citizens being allowed into Aotearoa during the covid immigration lockdown , many holders of resident permits including those who have never been here before are also being let in.

    For what?
    Any job where a small business employer wants to underpay. That’s what. Despite all the talk from Treen & Co, bottle shop employees are still being brought into Aotearoa, to be mistreated as slaves in a job where the required skill level simply doesn’t warrant imported labour.
    I would happily pay a couple of dollars more for a bottle of scotch if I knew that money was going on a decent wage for the person who served me. Currently that is not the case – even the more expensive bottle-O’s appear to be currently pulling this rort and it stinks.

  5. Totally agree with the comments about MBIE.It is one of the public services worst departments and its only function is to support and encourage the protection of dodgy dealings and legal exploitation.A fine example of neoliberalisim at its worst.

  6. There is a Foreign Owned Labour Agency in New Plymouth that advertises Jobs on all the Oil Rigs that work Offshore Aotearoa.
    Highly skilled NZ Residents apply for these Jobs. Many have spent Thousands of Dollars ensuring their Certification is Current as demanded in the Ads….
    But many of the Categories advertised are ALREADY earmarked for Overseas Workers BEFORE the Ads are even placed on SEEK NZ. The Jobs are not intended for Kiwis but are “Fake Advertised”
    Just a small problem of Visas to be Procured.
    The reason behind the Ads as Visas can’t be requested without first showing that attempts were made to find Qualified and Experienced Residents…
    The Agency and its (Immigrant) Managing Director then make Claims (Lies) to MBIE / INZ that the correct Calibre of Residents cannot be scoured in Aotearoa so “Others” need bringing in on Visas. INZ awards the Visas no matter how many Representations are made to them Proving the Qualified Kiwis who were Advertised for actually are here and DO want to compete for the Skilled Advertised Positions. NZ LAW is “Seen” to have been correctly administered (totally absurd) and the Skilled NZ Applicants shelve their highly expensive Certifications and trudge off to try and find other Jobs doing something else…
    NZ Residents get awarded the “Junior” Positions but are UNLAWFULLY EXCLUDED from the Skilled Middle and Senior (Advertised) Positions.
    And our Govt. Sanctions this Lawbreaking Bullshit. MBIE / INZ know they are being Lied To by the Labour Agency and their Clients but “turn a blind eye”
    Same goes on with Shipping, like Officers Jobs on the Ferries, and other Maritime Sector Mahi. And same bullshit happens Ashore in Aotearoa. We are here. We are skilled, experienced and qualified. But we aren’t allowed to do this Stuff in our Country. Seems to be a Perception, perpetuated and enabled by MBIE, that Kiwis who are regarded Overseas as Highly Competent aren’t any good in Aotearoa…..
    Now North Sea Workers are here for a Year or More, on Critical Worker Visas having taken up scarce places in the Quarantine Hotels, to Operate a Rig on Maui Platform that could be manned Several Times Over top to bottom of the Skill Requirements by Taranaki Residents alone. But we are prevented from this despite, or should I say because of, the “Fake Advertising for Visas” that MBIE / INZ Facilitates despite knowing Full Well that it is all a Fraudulent and Corrupt RORT..
    When will our so called “Public Services” Salaries paid for by our Taxes, actually do what NZ LAW sets out and work in the Interests of Kiwis first as opposed to “Others”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/112103239/shut-out-the-oil-rig-sending-jobs-offshore

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/121961383/oil-rig-workers-claim-unfair-treatment-in-a-system-rotten-to-the-core

  7. While I agree that we should not allow exploitation of foreign workers and students, we have set up entire industries to do just that. These workers displace and undermine New Zealand workers. Being an overseas student was a fast track to residency, often in sectors where there was a lack of work. The huge numbers involved have put immense strain on our housing and services which we are now having to find some way to pay for and build. I am sorry we have cheated these people, but we need to start looking after ourselves again and stop lining the pockets of those who can only run a business if it is based on exploitation. Proper industrial and employment relations policies would go some way to acheiving this rather than constantly increasing working for families while continuing to import cheap labour.

  8. To stop exploitation “ordinarily resident” New Zealanders need permanent residence

    No they don’t. If they want to work in NZ then they should become NZ citizens and live here.

    Permanent residence needs to be dropped as its a gateway for more powerful countries to control us.

    • I’m pretty sure we recognise the need to reduce things to sustainable levels @ Draco, and that what’s being talked about is honouring the promises and practices of those who’re already in the cistern – those we’ve made false promises to, and allowed the charlatans, exploiters and churn merchants to operate.
      IF lil ‘ole NuZull that punches above it’s weight can’t even do that, then refund them all their fees and costs and compensate them for wasting their time. And stop pretending we’re something we aren’t.

      @debisdead (above) makes some good points. I’ll bet that other nation she worked in was a nation we use to justify our cistern as being “best practice” (e.g. The UK. Canada, Stray ya, etc.). It’s neither best practice nor suited to NuZull as a Pacific nation unless we want to continue to be tied to the empire in its death throws, or any other for that matter.
      The Ministry for Everything MBIE (and all who sail in it) is the architect of its own cock-ups. It couldn’t even recognise that some of the people pulling rorts, bullshitting, offering false hopes – worthy of investigation – are/were there in plain sight in their own bloody companies register.

    • Oops….previous reply went tits up. Should have read:
      Agreed.
      Kiwis would rightfully moan like hell if the rules of a rugby game were changed at will half-way through to disadvantage the team they supported.
      They’d moan like hell if the government administration not only lied to them in the first place in order to get them along to the match, but then sanctioned those new rules and enforced them.
      They’d righfully be pissed off if any contract they’d signed was effectively meaningless and that any legal remedy they sought would be decided by the apparatus they were bonded to.

      They’d moan like hell if every aspect of their lives was driven by their employer or poorly monitored education provider. And they’d be pissed off to be told by the government administration that all this was “best practice” and that any relief was only possible on payment of another fee they couldn’t afford, and if they didn’t like it they could fuck off because their is no alternative. They should be lucky to have the job of wiping elderly bums for a pittance or being other mightier people’s (essential) servants. They should be grateful for the opportunity they’ve magnanimously been provided.

      And then when they sought some sort of remedy through their political representative who had the means, they’d find he was busy and ‘preoccupied’ with other matters – perhaps carnal in nature.

      The recent case of the Samoan trafficker and exploiter has temporaily caused some people to be oh so ‘shocked’. The CNN Project and the ILO have been banging on about this sort of stuff for years. Probably the same number of years that NZ chose to entrench and industrialise it all through its mega Ministry of Everything whereby it encouraged the vertical integration of charlatan immigration advisors being part of an employer or ‘export’ education provider rather than their being part of the legal profession or person’s advocacy group (such as a union). The Ministry of Everything – designed by that Brains of Britain of Novapay fame Mr fixit Joyce – that’s been complicit through its policies and practices that have driven down wages and conditions and allowed people waiting in queues they can now never hope to process. And that’s not to mention the academic research and report (by Dr Christina Stringer a few years ago) that should have been causing bells to be rung loudly. The mega Ministry that continue to bond employees to their master so that sometimes survival depends on criminal activity.

      The same Ministry for Everything with a mere pocket of ethical people on the one hand with genuine concerns, while on the other, an organisation that seeks to keep the churn going through under-resourcing, piss-poor policy and process, and an agenda that only views the value of a person based on their being an economic unit. Just so long as they can front up on Breakfast and Morning Report to tell us all now how the situation that’s been created and that they’ve been a part of through their employ is a major win. And if it does get any worse or embarrassing, we’ll have another restructure rather than a dismantling.

      Don’t worry your pretty little heads though people, the men from the Ministry have it all under control, and anyway this is little ‘ole NuZull that punches above its weight and it can’t possibly be that bad. And in the overall scheme of things, we’re just talking about a few Dhalits and lesser beings that slipped through our demographic profiling

      ————————–

      Well how the neo-liberal public service works is as follows:
      Senior and muddle management ambitious public servants agree to provide their hapless Munster with fluid policy advice, lies, facts and alternative facts; and in return the hapless Munster agrees to tell the public he/she “has complete faith in their officials”. Sometimes, a blow job on the side might be necessary for the super ambitious ‘servant’ wanting to climb the ranks and put a few more entries on their CV.
      The hapless Munster also agrees to never follow or listen to the advice of people actually witnessing or experiencing life outside the bubble and cliques they operate in.
      If and when it ever comes to a point of embarrassment or the threat of change (such as having to be kind and transformational), the senior and muddle management public servants agree to provide their hapless Munster with a counter-narrative by whatever means necessary.
      The senior and muddle management public servants and hapless Munster jointly and severally also agree to leak, undermine, lie, obfuscate and/or do whatever is necessary to the media to satisfy a public. Especially easy when that public and politicians’ experience has grown up never experiencing anything else “in that space going forward”, and there are any number of people claiming membership to a 4th Estate wanting a scoop to feed their egos.
      The agenda is sustained, rather than sustainABLE growth at all costs, the market the market, and preservation of the staus quo, and its almost the perfect formula.

      Even if and when some bloody upstarts such as a Hipkins or a Little attempt change, the impact can only ever be minimal. (Good things take time, and Rome wasn’t built in a day even when the natives are getting restless). Those bloody upstarts will be faced with an army of people trained (sometimes self-taught) in the arts and sciences of self-improvement and management theory, and equipped with the language and buzz that would capture the minds of those equipped with the best bullshit detectors currently available. The upstarts Hipkins and Little can attempt legal reform and issue decrees for change, but they can only ever hope to realise their dreams when they’re able to effect a kulcha change by displacing the very people and structures that have put this ‘ecosystem’ in place and who/which intend fighting to the death. (The demographic profilers; the T&C commissioners; the holier-than-thou; the leakers intent on underminig change, transformation and kindness; the saboteurs; the ideologically-driven thick shits absent of any capacity for critical thought ……… are still firmly ensconced).

      We get what we deserve

      —————–
      I’m pretty sure we recognise the need to reduce things to sustainable levels @ Draco, and that what’s being talked about is honouring the promises and practices of those who’re already in the cistern – those we’ve made false promises to, and allowed the charlatans, exploiters and churn merchants to operate.
      IF lil ‘ole NuZull that punches above it’s weight can’t even do that, then refund them all their fees and costs and compensate them for wasting their time. And stop pretending we’re something we aren’t.
      AND IF we do need to bring people in, we treat them as people rather than simply as economic units to be exploited in (what I heard some boffin claim the other day as) “The Labour Supply Chain” – presumably people without all that ‘baggage’ of children or partners or basic human emotional and spiritual needs.

      @debisdead (above) makes some good points. I’ll bet that other nation she worked in was a nation we use to justify our cistern as being “best practice” (e.g. The UK. Canada, Stray ya, etc.). It’s neither best practice nor suited to NuZull as a Pacific nation unless we want to continue to be tied to the empire in its death throws, or any other for that matter.
      The Ministry for Everything MBIE (and all who sail in it) is the architect of its own cock-ups. It couldn’t even recognise that some of the people pulling rorts, bullshitting, offering false hopes – worthy of investigation – are/were there in plain sight in its own bloody companies register.

    • Btw @ Dracs ….. I fucked up that second response too. Nothing sinister ….. just the fact that I’m next to a building site where the dust and bits of shit that blow around have decided my keyboard is a comfy little spot to live causing erratic and unintended keystrokes. As a result I’d taken to using Notepad to type, then copying over. .
      HOWEVER:
      I’ve come to think that the Munstry for Everything (MBIE) – especially its INZ,, LI and associated agencies is not salvageable. A bit like as Oranga Tamariki deals in the BUSINESS of children, and MSD deals in the BUSINESS of poor people; INZ deals in the BUSINESS of aliens and foreigners (not so much bloody refugees if it can help it); the LI deals in the BUSINESS of exploitative employers (in that “Labour Supply Chain”); agencies such as the IAA deal in the BUSINESS of advisors, and other entities deal in the BUSINESSES of things like bloody radio frequency allocation – but not it seems interference any longer, building standards, and a shitload of other stuff they’re not very good at doing (actually as a matter of record).
      Quite convenient for any hapless Munster associated with it in many ways, but not that great in actually providing a Public Service (i.e. a service to a public)
      If you look at the organisational structure of this mega-monolith Bullshit Castle at its inception under what Shane the Almighty once described as “Kaiser Smol” (takes one to know one) – you’d get an understanding of how its kulcha came to pass, and why a few of its masters-of-the-universe, over-ambition, generic managerial practices who are still in place, are a big part of the problem. And sure as flies stick to shit, they’re intent on preserving it all. Its why any “restructure” was ……….. and is ……….. destined to fail.

  9. This mass inward migration has been driven by unscrupulous employers and the clowns at Treasury, who assured MPs it wasn’t costing kiwis jobs. That was unmitigated piffle. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/22/economists-globalization-trade-paul-krugman-china/#:~:text=Paul%20Krugman%20and%20other%20mainstream,than%20they%20thought%20it%20would.&text=Don%27t%20worry%20about%20it,minor%20impact%20on%20your%20prosperity.

    By all means do a sort out to allow a proportion of those allowed in to stay – but we’ve been letting in far far too many. It’s half the reason we have a housing crisis. There needs to be open, consistent, long term policy on this – and not set by unscrupulous employers hooked on the crack cocaine of cheap exploitable labour.

    • Trouble is too many Kiwis dislike certain ‘menial’ or difficult jobs, employers choose immigrants. Time though have changed.

      • Since the advent of employment agents, many jobs aren’t even offered to kiwis any more. Kiwis are never going to give the agent a backhander eh.

  10. Couldn’t disagree more, this country faces systemic shortages in the labor and housing market for jobs and accommodation, furthermore what accommodation and jobs we subsequently have are in the case of housing overpriced and in the case of employment insufficient to meet the costs of living.

    To top this of in addition to 10% of our workforce being migrant laborers (even those claiming to be students) the fact that we are about to enter a period of time in which the unemployment situation is about to deteriorate in light of the economic shut down we need to do everything we can to prioritize the welfare of our own people over foreign migration and foreign workers.

    We should be looking at scaling down the use of migrant labor and bringing jobs back from foreign countries for instance in the production of the many goods we consume.

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