Waatea News Column: Government must declare amnesty on all Overstayers to combat COVID


We urgently need to understand that this battle against COVID-19 is a marathon, it isn’t a sprint and in recognising this, we need to add to our current defences of strict border quarantines and personal hygiene obligations like mask-wearing, social distancing and reduced socialisation with an enormous empowering of local communities and an immediate amnesty on the entire overstayer population of NZ.

We know that empowered communities are going to be able to communicate health warnings and guidelines to those most vulnerable to this virus so ensuring those communities are resourced to have the agency to respond is the first priority.
That’s Pacifica, Māori, Asian, Indian and Migrant community organisations who require urgent resourcing now.

But we need more than that.

There are an estimated 11000+ Overstayers in NZ, this Community would be kindling for an outbreak. The Government has stated that no one should fear coming forward if they have immigration issues, but I think that there needs to be a more defined statement here to ensure that community feel confident enough to step forward out of the shadows.
This can’t end until there is a vaccine, and that is still most likely at the end of 2022, so this constant state of ready response needs to be actively maintained at least for another 2 years.

That actively maintained a state of readiness requires multiple strategies to work, resourcing the Communities at the coalface and offering amnesty to overstayers are essential parts of that strategy.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

First published on Waatea News.


  1. YES!! to this post.
    It is just basic common sense and best health practice.
    And they need to get this through before parliament dissolves, if at all possible.

  2. Nope it’s encouraging overstaying – people need to start to obey the law in NZ and go when they are supposed to, not come into NZ, and then not go!

    Was at a conference and a few people said they had a lot of difficulties getting a NZ visa (just for the conference in NZ) and this is because some people don’t go when they are supposed to and the entire system is being overloaded by people who have no intention of ever leaving and keeping to the terms of their visas!

    NZ has a trust system of coming here, that is being abused.

    INZ need to be tougher. NZ is pathetic and it’s causing a lot of problems in particular with labour.

    Forty percent fall in deportations from New Zealand

    If someone has no legal right to income here then they tend to fall into illegal means. It’s a downwards slope with some really horrible outcomes and victims. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/04/auckland-mother-jailed-for-turning-daughter-into-sex-slave.html

    • I’m with this :
      ” NZ has a trust system of coming here, that is being abused”…

      These people are breaking our laws with impunity. That’s not right. Our laws are there for a reason. They are not there to be mocked and played upon and found loopholes to weedle with. Send them home and blacklist the offenders so they cant come back. We don’t do that to their country, nor should they do it to us. They know full well what they are playing at , it should be one strike and you’re out and don’t even try coming back.


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