A report released on August 26, which was commissioned by E tū, and was funded by the Industrial Relations Fund, has revealed the experiences of mostly Filipino construction workers in Christchurch and Auckland in 2017 and 2018. A small number of employers from around New Zealand was also interviewed. Along with low pay, and poor housing emerging as critical issues, the report, by researcher and lawyer, Catriona MacLennan, also reveals wide-spread exploitation of migrants by immigration companies and so-called pastoral care companies.
The immigration system of New Zealand, with all its rules and regulations, needs to be fair and consistent. Right now, it is too much dependent on the officials, who use their discretion while applying these norms. This was the most common complaint that Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway faced on July 18, when he fronted up to a Q and A session with ethnic communities in Christchurch.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse on April 19 announced changes to permanent immigration settings include introducing two remuneration thresholds for applicants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), which will complement the current qualifications and occupation framework. One will be set at the New Zealand median income of $48,859 a year for jobs that are currently considered skilled. The other threshold will be set at 1.5 times the New Zealand median income of $73,299 a year for jobs that are not currently considered skilled but are well paid. These changes will come into effect on August 14, 2017. He also proposed a number of changes to temporary migration settings to manage the number and settlement expectations of new migrants coming to New Zealand on Essential Skills work visas. Additionally, the minister announced a one-off pathway to residence for around 4,000 long-term temporary migrant workers and their families living in the South Island.
Labour Leader Andrew Little is univocal in what he thinks of US President Donald Trump's executive order of banning refugees and citizens of seven countries from entering the US. He is equally unambiguous of what he thinks of Prime Minister Bill English's reaction to the ban.
Roshan Nauhria, a successful Kiwi-Indian businessman, who in the past has donated to political parties across spectrum and is also the member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, has recently launched the first political party in the country dedicated to immigrants.
The Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal in a recent judgement had found that Lindsay Charles Sparks, an immigration adviser with Business Immigration Limited (BIL), had engaged in "dishonest and misleading behaviour" in dealing with Edwin Balatbat, a Filipino migrant worker. While the case is “no hold” till the appeal process is completed, The Migrant Times caught up with Ruth Burgess, Solicitor at Lexington Legal – the law firm fighting Edwin's case pro-bono – for her views on why access to justice is important for migrants well-being, as well as for the international reputation of New Zealand.