Migrants and the New Zealand way of life
Immigration is a changing landscape
There are two recent immigration trends that worry me.
The recent arrivals of immigrants bringing undesirable traits with them have been greeting more airplay of late. Unfortunately, these immigrants can sometimes overshadow the many skilled and highly acclaimed people who have become part of the New Zealand scene. This has given the migrant community a bad image as everyone gets painted with the same brush.
- This negative perception needs to be acknowledged by established community groups so they can respond appropriately. The difficulty is that as some of these immigrant groups already have a presence, they have become insular and do not realise the need or value in being part of the bigger community. They do not understand the New Zealand way of life or the New Zealand psyche.
- Some unscrupulous operators have been selling the idea of obtaining a degree in New Zealand as an easy pathway to residence. Many students believe that permanent residence here is guaranteed before they even leave their home country. However, education is no longer a certain pathway to residence.
I believe a clean community image for New Zealand is better than having rich coffers.
Some migrants bring undesirable traits with them. As an established community we do not want them. Their presence is disturbing and unsettling to the New Zealand way of life.
This worrying aspect of the migrant scene has me most concerned. It has the potential of spilling into the mainstream, risking transparency and integrity.
New Zealand is known as a kind country. It looks after its people through a welfare system and a pension scheme for senior residents. A number of charitable organisations supplement or complement government efforts.
If we are to preserve the New Zealand way of life and ethos, we must be vigilant. This is our responsibility. As we have seen elsewhere, it does not take much to tip the balance.
Exploitation of some sections of the migrant population often arises out of hunger for increased foreign students. Our marketing strategy in countries such as India has worked successfully. Thousands of students come to New Zealand to obtain management qualifications.
Dodgy education providers
Unscrupulous operators have been dangling the carrot of obtaining a degree in New Zealand an easy pathway to residence. The ignorant and the vulnerable have been easy prey. Many students believe that permanent residence here is guaranteed before they even leave their home country. Those who do not have the ‘luxury’ of this guarantee believe that they can somehow manage to gain residency upon arrival or completion of their education.
Many of these students have their dreams shattered. They become targets for unscrupulous operators.
Such situations would not arise if our immigration regime has a sound strategy in place.
However, the income from international students has blurred our vision. Places at our institutions are ‘sold’ to potential students as a pathway to residence. This strategy may have been successful in the past but not any more. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has tightened its regulations. Education is no longer a certain pathway to residence.
However, international students, especially those from India, are not made aware of the stricter immigration regime.
There is an obvious disconnect here. The situation should not be allowed to continue. It can harm the image of our education institutions, INZ and New Zealand.
None of us wants the confidence in our country or the the New Zealand way of life eroded.