Lincoln Tan of the NZ Herald today wrote about a new problem some migrants are having during the recession – not being able to work in their native countries because they’ve given up their citizenship rights to live in New Zealand:
“Jobless Asians are barred from work in their native countries because of their NZ citizenship.
Asian immigrants who have given up their birth citizenship to become New Zealanders are being hit by a double whammy in the recession. Asian unemployment is well above the national average at 9.2 per cent in New Zealand, so many are looking for work in their native countries. But despite having job offers, many struggle to get work visas as they are now considered “foreign” workers.
Immigration expert Paul Spoonley does not know how many are in that position, but those affected are from countries that do not permit dual citizenship.
“One of the strengths of New Zealand is that we allow dual citizenship and migrant mobility, so it’s really disappointing that migrants who have made a commitment to New Zealand are being put in a no-win situation,” said Professor Spoonley, of Massey University. “Our responsibility should be to help them be employable and find employment here, because there is little New Zealand can do with helping them in going back.”
Like New Zealand, many Asian countries have tightened immigration policies on foreign workers. Some have even offered cash and other incentives for migrant workers willing to leave the country permanently.
Despite an offer to start in January as a journalist trainer at Malaysia‘s largest English-language newspaper, the Star, immigrant Charles Chan, who became a New Zealander in 2006, is still waiting for his Malaysian visa.
“I suppose I could have just walked into the job if I had held on to my Malaysian passport, but they now consider me a Kiwi,” he said.
A South Korean New Zealander says he has not been able to get a visa to return to South Korea to work, despite an offer from a large construction company in Seoul.
He does not want to be identified because he says the situation had caused him to “lose face”.
“I wanted to become a New Zealander because I wanted this country to be where my family’s future to be,” he said. “On hindsight, it is stupid, and this is a price I have to pay.”
South Korea and Malaysia have recently tightened their stance towards foreign workers.
Malaysia is to send 60 per cent of its 2.1 million foreign workers home, and is not renewing any contracts, and South Korea is planning to export its unemployment by paying jobless graduates to seek work overseas.
Labour’s associate ethnic affairs spokesman, MP Raymond Huo, says the level of Asian unemployment in New Zealand is alarming and unprecedented.
“About 21,000 Asian people are here without jobs and it is hurting many Asian migrant families.”
One has to ask if obtaining New Zealand citizenship is worth it under such circumstances, would people be better off remaining on Permanent Resident Visas?
New Zealand is currently trawling for migrants from countries like Singapore,we don’t know if Singapore allows dual citzenship.
Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
Todays Tale is taken from a thread on The Straits Times website, in which Singaporeans discuss the current campaign targeting them to come and work in New Zealand. This poster lives in New Zealand and was eager to tell readers that living in a country is very different from visiting it. Most of the issues raised in this post can be found on this forum and our mirror site, links may be found at the end of this page.
“Travelling in NZ versus living in NZ is a totally different experience! Depending on what you do, where you live … it’ll change your opinions about NZ.
Crime rates are getting higher in some cities … all you hear in the news are depressing news like murders, burglaries, assaults etc. Alcohol and drugs are huge concerns here and are major social problems in NZ! Law and order? Number of prisoners reaches new high! http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/number-prisoners-reaches-new-high-3083396
Make sure you are secured with a job if you intend to migrate here under Skilled Migrant Category because it’s very, very hard to find a job here. And of course, not forgetting about the certain degree of racism and discrimination that we have to face here!
Living standards? The proposed increase in GST from 12.5% to 15% will definitely have an impact on living cost. http://www.3news.co.nz/Poll-and-survey-find-majority-against-GST-increase/tabid/419/articleID/141957/Default.aspx
Although health care is free but … unless you need urgent immediate attention otherwise you can join the long queue in the waiting list! Read this article about the recent health cuts. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0908/S00210.htm
For those who have children, your children may feel less stressful studying in NZ but you really have to think thrice if that’s what you want for them! It’s their future you have to consider! Unless you’re very sure that they have self-discipline … Read this article about the chaos created by Otago University students annually and decide if you want to send your children here.http://www.odt.co.nz/on-campus/university-otago/73781/undie-500-chaos-a-student039s-view
Do you think Kiwis are happy here? Read this article about the high suicide rate in NZ. http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/health/suicide.html
We can go on and on and on …
Of course, if you retire here and don’t have to deal with many people then it’s a different story! You probably will enjoy the quiet lifestyle here and the weather (except during the cold winter months) is definitely better than the hot and humid Singapore!
We’ve recently heard of Singaporeans getting as far as the final interview stage for Permanent Residency and being refused. They are turned down for PR and aren’t even offered Work to Residence as a back-up. Bear in mind the high fees involved in the visa application process and it’s understandable why are starting to call the whole thing a ‘scam.’ Read this thread on an immigration forum
Please click on Comments for further discussion about this post
For posts tagged
Crime – see links
Jobs for Kiwis -see links
Racism – see links
Healthcare - see links
Suicide rates – see links
“That’s cold – exploding the myths about sub-tropical New Zealand” - link
see also: Transitiong.org: immigration-singaporeans-eyeing-new-zealand
Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
This recent story is from the discussion forum Expatexposed. It tells how grinding penny pinching becomes a way of life in NZ with nothing to compensate it, rather than a short term measure to get ahead. The poster also tells of how carefully ‘Brand New Zealand’ is manipulated to attract people who turn out to be unsuitable migrants:
“I am so tired of Kiwis making a virtue of necessity. They should be honest that THAT is what it is – making do on a cute remote island. Nothing more than that. Not an arcane “lifestyle” to be aspired to (cue: clink wineglass of Sauvignon Blanc, look out to blue water, flash impossibly white teeth at partner that you would never see on a Kiwi because most of them don’t do dental).
There’s nothing here to compensate for the forced pennypinching – little opportunity, no rich culture, you can’t easily travel to other places for a change – nothing. The government and migration agencies are dressing New Zealand up and not being honest about what it is really like here – THAT is my biggest gripe.
If you are rich, boaty and/or fetishize nature, you will LOVE it here, and you won’t have to make sacrifices, or the sacrifices may well be worth it. I am not rich, boaty and do not fetishize nature.
I DO wear woolly socks and jumpers inside, and I did that before I came here. I shop secondhand “just because it is sensible”. I make food from scratch. I totally agree – it’s sensible and no less, regardless. I have NEVER had central heating or double-glazed windows in any house I have lived in, though I aspired to such back home where I was able to afford to buy my own house. I used to put thermal plastic sheeting on my windows to keep warm in winter. I will hunt that stuff down for this year in NZ if I haven’t been able to leave by winter. At home, I had a gas furnace (not a standalone heater) and my heating was, under a special distributive program where they spread the money out for winter heating to summer months so you don’t get these big lumps to pay in winter) about 80 a month USD (that’s about, what, 100 NZD?). Just to give you a comparison.
The difference is that back there, I lived this same way and was able to save money and get ahead by being frugal. I could afford better food and I didn’t have to darn big holes in socks. I’d darn a little hole or two and then when the socks persisted in developing more holes, I would give them away to the local animal shelter inside a pillowcase for the animals to use. I had money to travel and visit people.
I’ve lived frugally before – and was able to GET AHEAD by doing so. I was able to save thousands a year doing that. Here, you are FORCED to live that way just to keep your head above water, and you are lucky if you can save anything. Maybe some year upward mobility will pull you into its wake if you can catch the wave at the right time…you can only climb the rungs of the ladder with great difficulty in New Zealand, and just hope you don’t have a setback that sends you back to START. It’s easy to have that happen to you if you have no family here to cushion your setbacks for you.
I do not consider that the people of New Zealand are beneath me. I perceive that they “make do” valiantly with what they have. I have seen them be amazingly creative making good useful things out of nothing. The housewives use everything but the squeal. Jesus, do I have to want to live like that, though? This is admirable, and I’d do it if I had to, but why pay out the nose to do that? Kiwis are both shaped and limited by having to live that way. They don’t have time for intellectual pursuits? Just LIVING here occupies enough of their effort, so ok, it’s understandable (Google “culture of New Zealand”, “anti-intellectualism” if you think I am being a snob). People have crafted the Wiki entry to reflect reality, better, I think, since I came over some years ago, and I think prospective migrants should read it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_New_Zealand#Anti-intellectualism (See below*)
I don’t think you’re aware of how carefully they manipulate Brand New Zealand to attract people who in actuality turn out to be highly unsuitable migrants. That’s where I perceive my fight to be on EE, is representing the reality of New Zealand as I personally experienced it, as one of those unsuitable migrants, so I can prevent other people from making the same mistake I did. It’s the only way I can make lemonade out of my own lemons! That’s why many of the members post here – they are either venting or making sure the downside gets “out there”, hoping that googlers will be able to find and read it through all the net-bombing by “paradise”-mongers who are trying to represent New Zealand as a place that it is NOT.”
*Anti-intellectualism in NZ (Wikipedia)
“Unlike many European countries, but in common with other ‘Anglo’ countries such as Britain, the United States and Australia, New Zealanders do not have a particularly high regard for intellectual activity, particularly if it is more theoretical than practical. This is linked with the idea of ‘kiwi ingenuity’ (see above), which supposes that all problems are better solved by seeing what works than by applying a theory.
This distrust of theory manifested itself in social policy of the early and mid twentieth century, which historian Michael Bassett described as ‘socialism without doctrines’: although the policies of the first Labour and other governments pursued traditionally socialist goals, they were not based on any coherent theory. A major break with this tradition came in the 1980s when the fourth Labour and fourth National governments enacted a series of reforms based on free market ideology.
This reinforced many New Zealanders’ distrust of intellectual theory, as many consider that the reforms increased poverty and inequality in New Zealand. Despite the prevailing mood of anti-intellectualism, New Zealand has reasonably high rates of participation in tertiary education and has produced a number of internationally renowned scholars and scientists, including Ernest Rutherford, J.G.A. Pocock and Alan MacDiarmid. It should be noted that both Rutherford and Pocock spent most of their professional lives in Britain. For many years this was a common occurrence, and a consequence both of New Zealanders’ attitudes and the low population which made it hard to support major research.
Because New Zealanders often have to relocate to achieve worldwide fame and fortune, New Zealanders are keen to claim famous people as being New Zealanders, however short their residency in New Zealand might have been.
While people born in New Zealand are certainly identified as New Zealanders, those who attended a New Zealand school or resided in New Zealand also qualify, irrespective of national origin. This sometimes leads to famous people and innovations being identified as coming from both New Zealand and another country—such as the pop group Crowded House, the race horse Phar Lap and the actor Russell Crowe, all of whom have been associated with Australia and New Zealand.
Because the measure of New Zealand success was often how well a person did internationally, anything from ‘Overseas’ is seen as holding more cultural capital than the local equivalent, regardless of its quality.
This means that New Zealanders are often lured to the performances of “international acts”. This is exacerbated by New Zealand’s isolation and small population causing it to be skipped by the international tours of all but the most commercially successful musicians and performers. The flipside to this phenomenon is that famous people from overseas can be quickly embraced by New Zealanders if they visit regularly or for an extended period or claim an affinity with the country.”
For today’s posts – click here
At last, some countries are wising-up about the dangers of the New Zealand ‘work to residence system’ and warning their citizens about the risks they may be taking by migrating, and then either being unable to find jobs, or having jobs effectively taken away from them and given to New Zealanders (see other posts tagged ‘Jobs for Kiwi’s)
According to an article by the immigration affairs reporter, Lincoln Tan, in the NZ Herald:
“Philippines consul-general Emilie Shi says Immigration New Zealand is not doing enough to warn would-be applicants about the difficulties of finding a job or telling them that Kiwis will be given preference by employers.
“Immigration New Zealand continues to say what a great place this country is to come live and work in, but they cover up the fact that it is very difficult to find a job here, or that they will be treated as second-class workers under the scheme,” Ms Shi said.
“The work-to-residence is a myopic policy, because even if these migrants prove their worth in their jobs, employers cannot renew their contracts when their work permits expire, and have to first offer their jobs to Kiwis.“
She said this made those who came on the work-to-residence scheme less attractive to local employers because they would not have “smooth continuity” in their business operations if they employed these migrant workers…..The embassy will be recommending to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to not allow any more of our citizens to come to New Zealand if they are not qualified, and we will be putting an advisory warning on the website.”
This move is bound to cause significant embarrassment to the New Zealand government and may harm the country’s carefully cultivated image as being a place that welcomes, values and cares for its overseas workers. We expect to see a counter-spin offensive launched soon.
We think that migrants that are attracted to work in NZ under schemes like this, and who are rendered penniless in the process because they can’t find work, should be refunded the full costs of their visa applications and given expenses so that they can return home. If the work isn’t there for them why are they still being encouraged to come? someone is making a lot of money from people whose lives are being ruined in the process.
Good on the Consul-General for blowing the whistle on this, perhaps more countries should think of doing the same?
Migrants are important to the NZ economy. The migrant population of 927,000 people had a positive net fiscal impact of $3,288 million in the year to 30 June 2006. The net fiscal impact per head was $2,680 for recent migrants, $3,470 for intermediate migrants and $4,280 for earlier migrants. The net fiscal impact for the New Zealand-born population was $915 per head.
‘Migrants treated like waste products‘ – “New Zealand is treating migrants like waste products using them and then throwing them away” says Wigram MP Jim Anderton.
Paradise turns sour for British migrants - “Jobless foreigners now risk losing their work visas and having to return to Britain.”
Migrant Tales – A collection of migrants’ first hand accounts of their experiences of living and working in New Zealand.
Today’s posts – click here
Tough luck if you’re planning to fund a holiday in New Zealand by picking fruit. According to one article in the Nelson Mail orchardists in the region have been inundated with so many requests for work that they’ve been able to pick and chose who they employ.
Tourists are likely to get pipped at the post, firstly by Kiwis and then by people with experience in “hard, physical work.”
But amazingly, despite the recession and high numbers of unemployed New Zealanders, working holiday visas are still being granted with 19,264 being approved this financial year.
We wonder how many visitors are still paying for visas and then not finding work, should they be asking for refunds? The visas cost Brits £50 each – that’s the equivalent of a sweet and juicy £963,200 ($2 million) for the NZ immigration service. Nice little earner.
In July there was a news article published “Migrants groups push to end ‘hypocrisy’ (9 July) – new migrants still arriving but no jobs: “Migrant support groups will today ask the Government to stop letting migrant workers into New Zealand “knowing full well there are no jobs for them“, and to commit to helping those already here and grappling with unemployment.”
In November the importance of immigration to the NZ economy was emphasised by the Minister of Immigration when he said: (link)
“It’s clear that government policy has to continue the focus on economic gains from immigration. “Significant achievements in the Government’s first year have included new Business Migration policies to reduce red tape and make it easier for a wider range of business migrants to invest in New Zealand, as well as improvements to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Policy.”
All well and good but where are the jobs for them? why take their money, let them in and then give the work to New Zealanders?
See also other posts tagged with “Jobs for Kiwis“
Today’s posts – click here