End migrant exploitation – We are all part of the team of 5 million

Demand justice for all migrants:
  1. Pathways to residency for everyone in New Zealand who wants to stay and make New Zealand their home.
  2. Reunite the families. Allow everyone caught abroad who had made New Zealand their home for work or study to return, with a timetable that is clear and a chance to join the pathways to residency if they want to.
  3. End bonded labour. Stop tying visas to particular employers.
  4. Amnesty for those who have overstayed their visas and allow them to access residency if they choose to. They are victims not criminals.

Mobilise June 26 – Assemble Bittomart 3pm, Auckland  Join the March of Migrants II. Demand:


How can the broken immigration system be fixed?

The government now has the powers to fix a crisis in the migrant labour system that has been developing over the last few decades.

This system promised those who were willing to study and work here the possibility of transitioning to permanent residency once they had completed their studies and found suitable work.

For many years, that dream was a possibility. New Zealand needed these people because we lose about 1% of our population each year permanently to outward migration, mostly to Australia.

Even just to maintain our population, we needed to issue around 40,000 permanent resident visas a year.

As a consequence, approximately one in four Kiwi-born New Zealanders live abroad and one in four NZ-resident Kiwis were born abroad.

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In the year 2000, the number of student, work, and resident visas being issued was about 40,0000 each.

By 2020, the number of temporary work visas being issued hit a quarter of a million and there were about an additional 100,000 student visas with the right to work.

Over 300,000 people were working in New Zealand on some form of temporary visa – 15% of the workforce.

But for the last two decades, it has become harder and harder to transition to permanent residency. The promises being made to students and workers coming to this country – that there would be a reasonable chance to transition to residency – were increasingly impossible to meet.

Entire industries had become dependent on workers on temporary visas, and could not operate without them.

Temporary visas became the drug of choice to fix the problem as these industries were unable to recruit and train Kiwis to do the jobs at wages that genuinely reflected the skill and work intensity involved.

But these migrant workers were desperate to please their employers and would do anything to win the opportunity to be sponsored for permanent residency.

There was no incentive for employers to fix the problems that stopped them from recruiting labour in the first place.

This system has also resulted in horrific cases of exploitation.

Many of these workers end up overstaying their visas to earn enough to pay back the debts incurred getting here.

Post-covid, there will be no return to a dependency on issuing hundreds of thousands of temporary visas each year to plug gaps in employment and subsidise the public education sector.

This situation gives us the opportunity to fix the problems for those already here and honour the promises made to them and then broken after they arrived.

There are currently about 250,000 people in NZ on a temporary visa. A few thousand more are probably “overstayers” who should be seen as victims, not criminals.

We will not be able to replace them in the immediate or even near future.

Most probably want to stay. Many have spent tens of thousands of dollars on degrees and put up with unpleasant jobs for the right to residency.

Many have been here up to a decade, renewing their visas again and again, and some have children born here.

Most employers want these workers to be able to stay. Most unions want pathways to residency so workers can escape their vulnerable status that is so prone to exploitation.

We can discuss at our leisure what sort of migrant labour system we will need in the future but NZ will always need new permanent residents so long as there is a significant wage differential with Australia that attracts labour there.

Employers, unions, and the government also agree that significant investment in training is required.

Soon the government will be announcing new criteria for accessing residency using the special powers they have been given.

This policy must include pathways to residency for those here or overseas who have made NZ their home, an end to bonded labour and an amnesty for overstayers to join this pathway.


  1. No problem with students on legitimate courses, and workers in legitimate jobs, getting residency in their own right. However, that should not be a licence for them to bring in family members who just want to use our welfare state. Who’s being exploited here?

    • Also very hard for the family. Have a migrant child in my child’s class. She just wants to go back home!

      Pushing for migrant families doesn’t work, as often some family members enjoy it, but others don’t.

      Already many accounts in the news from migrant children who have major problems and killing people. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300257590/epsom-double-homicide-critically-injured-man-now-stable-under-police-guard-in-hospital-after-apparent-family-harm-incident?rm=a https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/12/woman-who-killed-boy-with-car-joked-about-having-to-catch-bus-on-instagram.html https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/04/venod-skantha-doctor-convicted-of-murdering-16yo-amber-rose-rush-dies-in-prison.html

      Too much concern with victimisation mentality on migration which is a form of brainwashing, which then feeds the next generation to be privileged, feel they are victimised and mentally fragile!

      • “Too much concern with victimisation mentality on migration which is a form of brainwashing”
        Tell that to the Pacific Islanders we’re now admitting are due an apology.

        You really don’t think things through that well at times @SaveNZ.

        I’ve noticed a gradual change over your various comments over time though (Sorry to sound a bit pompous). Initially it was verging on the ‘taking all our jobs’ to ‘ hmmm, maybe acceptance of a ‘not so much’

        I’ll bet you know of a migrant’s child in your child’s class who just wants to “go back home”.
        I’ve been trying to tell migrants for the past 3 – 5 coming to this team of 5 million, with another million offshore, now wanting to come ‘home’, that they’re being lied to, and that there are better places to go.
        Are you happy with a buyer beware policy from a nation-state gummint that’s prepared to lie and make false promises? 50 uears ago we did that with Pacific Islanders, Now we’re more global in our (us) ambitions.

        Kind of reminds me of the 1st year Media Studies student wanting the tickoff to a degree, often writing their assignment the night before – if they hadn’t already got someone else to do it – justifying their arguments with a few stale media links.
        And then @ Rosie above:
        “….that should not be a licence for them to bring in family members who just want to use our welfare state”
        Where in this post is anybody advocating for that?

        And I’m pretty bloody sure you never had to witness a Dawn Raid. They still happen from time to time, (at least as of a couple of years ago) except not necessarily at dawn, or with the aid of alsation dogs

        • OnceWasTim, comments are changing on this subject because it has become like an organised ponzi – first to get the visas now to get overstayers and cash workers and family members on social welfare in NZ and the unions and lefties have joined the righties to lead it.

          Where is the money coming from? Asset sales, privatising health and housing to keep up with demand? Nurse wage freezes?

          People who are migrants can’t make NZ work financially just like the Kiwis, so they will all end up in the same place, on welfare here. Something like 60% of existing people in NZ pay zero to little income taxes as our wages are so low and our tops ups so vast.

          I don’t blame the migrants for the most part as the Rogernomic work force is stacked to lower wages… but as more migrants come, the problem increases.

          Adding more struggling people without much income, will not help our economy but instead compete and create a faux poverty class. I say faux, because someone who lives on the street and in emergency housing on a benefit and no family support is different from someone living in a multi million dollar mansion with no or negative declared NZ income and ability to ask relatives overseas for cash.

          People have a choice to come to NZ, so they are not victims.

          No other country is as stupid as NZ. Our corporate welfare to Rio Tinto, giving away national assets like water rights and now individual welfare and citizenship to mostly wealthy foreign nationals who don’t have to contribute much for long, or even live here.

          The pro migrant people are mostly in it for themselves because they are profiting from ‘helping’ these people and keeping the ponzi going.

          I’d say our ‘team of 5 million’ will quickly become a ‘team of 10 million’ and beyond. Since we can’t support the 5 million team very well, it seems like a ridiculous idea.

          No mention about Maori, when their vote becomes worthless, they have gone from 2nd largest NZ group to about 4th.. their votes becoming less and less. Likewise Pacific Island skills are not in demand – they have been replaced by Asian money.

          With the Palestine and PRC debates there are organised aggressive campaigns, so I guess the pro militant migrant campaigners in NZ are picking up devices from established brainwashing and soft power political consortiums and attacking personally anyone who disagrees with them.

          If migrants and woke spoke out against those abusing the system, bad character and cancelled their visas and citizenship to NZ permanently, it would make people feel a lot better and they were campaigning for the right reasons. But nope!

          As for pretending modern immigration is like the dawn raids, not sure there is much comparison to the world’s wealthy buying second citizenships, labour scams aka people paying to work and things going horribly wrong!

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300257590/epsom-double-homicide-critically-injured-man-now-stable-under-police-guard-in-hospital-after-apparent-family-harm-incident?rm=a https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/12/woman-who-killed-boy-with-car-joked-about-having-to-catch-bus-on-instagram.html https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/04/venod-skantha-doctor-convicted-of-murdering-16yo-amber-rose-rush-dies-in-prison.html

  2. Mike, remember you used to be for improving wages and conditions for all workers, when did you decide to become an Immigration Advisor instead? Post after post on this subject in the last 3 years.

    Has unite union given up on workers because now it seems helping migrants onto benefits etc is part of the job description, or paying ACC to dead, overstaying, cash, migrant widows while those responsible for the migrant workplace death, are never prosecuted?

    Maybe if less union members hadn’t given up on improving NZ wages and conditions for all workers we wouldn’t have slave conditions in NZ, with wages far less than Australia, and qualified people leaving NZ. NZ has low productivity and low innovation.

    NZ workforce can now be described as.

    We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.

    Many of the jobs are fake now (but wage subsidies real).

    Why drive more migrants who have poor skills to open yet another failing restaurant and spend all their money on this? This scam has been going for 20 years and finally the government has clicked on, but government still can’t be bothered stopping the loophole so more migrants are not buying overpriced businesses in NZ (from other migrants for the most part).

    You are not helping migrants by continuing the ponzi’s.

  3. Yes. and we need to sort out the exploiter employers – who are so often corrupt “migrants” themselves. Cancel visas and deport the corrupt employers .

    • I agree with you RosieLee. So may times the employer is a new New Zealander often from the same country that preys on their own countrymen. If caught scammimg staff the state should force them to sell to cover the repayment and then kick them out .
      I bet if they are not paying staff properly they will not be paying proper tax ACC or other fees and the work they do would be of suspect quality

      • Rosielee and Trevor S. Agree. Same old. The rich get away with exploiting and making others’ lives a misery. Every now and then they get matted, and pay a piddling fine – pop back to the sub-continent for a nice warm holiday, then return here and bully – and they’re getting louder, and to critique them is racist, but they’re dodgy and should be tossed out.

  4. Not sure what is intended by this quote, “at wages that genuinely reflected the skill and work intensity involved.”. The problem I have seen most often is moderate to high skilled jobs with very poor pay and excessive hours needing to be worked. These are often in sectors that NZers were told to retrain into, only to have the threat of offshoring or competition from sweatshops of illegal workers flown in on tourist visas and then rotated out as those expire. Would be Ok to regularise those who have been genuinley expolited if you could guarantee we dont end up with an open door policy like that under Key the next time it is convenient. We are also doing a very poor job of providing housing and infrastructure for the 500,000 net gain who have migrated here over the past decade.

  5. Strange, the bleak side of us. It’s a whole vast dark side of our moon, including our attitude to non-European immigrants. Tells us as much about our character as anything. Please Martyn do a post. For myself I’m relying on my second sequential bonus Lotto ticket (now that bonus bonds has been postponed indefinitely).

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