Punching Bag Again!
The Auckland Times | Issue 176 | February 15, 2018
Residence For Students
The other day I read that international students were being blamed for getting New Zealand residence through the back door. I could not believe the injustice of this statement. It is absolutely a false claim and those stating this should be ashamed of themselves. There is nothing backdoor about these students gaining their residence. It was government immigration policy at the time, which they met and benefited from.
However, the students have taken the fall and had to take the blame since this horrible phase of New Zealand history has commenced. A lack of accountability and shunning from taking responsibility of the actions and omissions have been the order of the day. I say, these students are to be stopped being used as a punching bag. It is karma we do not need further accumulation of.
The new government, I hope, learns from the lessons history has taught of their predecessors and to not fall into the same trap because there always will be accountability imposed in some form or the other!!!!
Money considerations and how much income could be earned became the deciding factors that dictated policies in the last nine years of New Zealand’s governance. Foreign income earned became a preoccupation and a strong motivating factor to maximise. Those policies have been credited with keeping New Zealand safe from the global financial crisis that ruined some nations.
International Students in New Zealand
Thus entered the money making machine – international student fees to earn income for New Zealand. Money was poured into advertising its merits and attractiveness overseas as an education destination to target markets such as India. Educating was a by-product. The carrot dangled to the potential students and their families very successfully was a route to the much pumped up and sought after New Zealand residence for students. This was done deliberately with the full knowledge of an intention to seek international fee paying students. The $5 billion target was widely publicised.
The Education System was a Pathway to Gaining Residence
Many benefited from these policies but many have equally suffered. Those that have benefited have mostly successfully settled in New Zealand. For some entering the New Zealand education system was a pathway to gaining residence. This was no secret as it was a carrot dangled, ripe for the picking. The more dangling then the more international students New Zealand gained. From a monetary point of view it was a successful business enterprise.
But absent from these were the social issue considerations and the provision of quality high level education that New Zealand was always proud of prior to this time. Nine years have shown migrant exploitation issues arise and increase.
Migrant Exploitation On The Increase
Last year before the elections there was a major overhaul announced in the Immigration New Zealand’s skilled migrant policy. On implementation the number of international students particularly from India were curtailed. The pressure came to relook at this policy when nervousness onshore arose, when it became apparent that sophisticated migrant exploitation was becoming rampant, when large numbers of students were graduating with low level qualifications and gaining residence; and when a particular nationality was on the increase.
Immigration Policies Changing
The future of immigration policies is a wait and see game. Time will tell, but for the moment it is geared to benefit a certain profile. If you do not fit that profile, it will be an uphill battle. Many long term temporary workers need to be more vigilant about their immigration future prospects. No assumptions should be made, as policies have changed in this area also and it is important to consult and be prepared.