03 November 2011

Election candidate raises New Zealand immigration double standard

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A Mana Party candidate in the upcoming New Zealand general election has spoken out about discrimination against Pacific Islanders in the New Zealand visa system.

New Zealand skilled migration

A Mana Party candidate New Zealand general election has spoken out about discrimination in the New Zealand visa system.

Mana Party parliamentary candidate for Makukau East John Minto has penned a column in the New Zealand Herald accusing the New Zealand immigration system of "pervasive racism" towards Pacific Island nationals and calling on the Government to "end discrimination against them in immigration policy".

New Zealand visa conditions and work and living standard prospects are better for Australians than for immigrants from other neighbouring countries, Mr Minto argued.

"An Australian can get off a plane and get a job and no one bats an eyelid. So why can't people from Tonga and Samoa do the same?" Minto asked.

"Why don't we treat people from the Pacific with the same respect as we treat Australians when they come here to work? Why do we persist with discrimination against our Pacific neighbours?"

Minto suggested that the immigration system exploits Pacific Island nationals for cheap contract labour but does not award them a fair standard of living or workplace rights.

"They (Pacific Island immigrants) are often treated disgracefully with frequent revelations of awful working conditions and rip-off agents who pay below the minimum wage and treat them as the indentured labour of past centuries," he said.

"In the wake of the World Cup it's time to think about the huge contribution our Pasifika workforce has made to this country and appreciate the life and colour they bring to our communities."

New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

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