Migrants’ Tales – Teacher Duped By the Hype, Couldn’t Find Work.

$10,000 down the drain

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

This tale is taken from Expatexposed, a mutual support and advice forum for migrants in New Zealand. Unlike every other migrant forum on the net it is not run for commercial gain  and therefore has nothing to gain by stifling points of view that aren’t favourable toward New Zealand (another place on the net where one won’t see ‘campaign posters‘ )

The poster is a fully qualified American teacher who believed that New Zealand has a skills shortage and that people in her profession are needed there. Unfortunately she found out, after considerable expense to herself, she wasn’t needed at all and that there wasn’t a job for her.

What she wasn’t told was with so many Kiwis returning during the recession employers are more likely to give jobs to New Zealanders and in some cases have been forced to do so. Please see a collection of posts tagged “jobs for kiwis” on our other blog for examples of this.

Yet despite this, and rising unemployment in NZ, campaigns are still being launched in countries like Singapore to attract migration applications, using draws such as     ‘cheap’ housing and cars.

The situation has got so bad for some groups of migrants (who are being offered temporary WTR visas rather than PR) not being able to find work that their consulates in  NZ have issued a warning that Immigration New Zealand “covers up the fact that it is very difficult to find jobs“. See our post “Philippines warns citizens about NZ work to residence scheme”:

“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…”

Migrants are worth millions to the NZ economy. You could even say they’ve kept it afloat during the recession and prevented the ailing housing market from imploding into a cloud of rotten timber.

Official figures dating back to 2006 show that the migrant population of 927,000 people had a positive net fiscal impact of $3,288 million in the year to 30 June. 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. When you look at the figures for this person’s migration costs it’s easy to see those the official figures may be on the conservative side.

Now that you’ve been filled-in on the background here’s our migrant’s tale, you can see that the odds were stacked against her from the start:

“…I have been here for only 3 months, I felt something was not right almost from the start.. I am a teacher believing the hype about the “teacher shortage“, got certified and qualified in NZ before I came, took the plunge..I don’t even know where to start. I applied to so many schools but none except for one did not even bother shortlisting me, immigration has played games with me, and my savings from the states have been depleted, had to pay for my children’s school for part of the term we have been here (even though I had a part-time job). I am exhausted, mentally drained, depressed..I feel like a failure and a fool for moving here. Now I have to put the pieces back together. I barely have enough money for next 4 months til I start teaching again in the states in Aug,will try to survive though the kindness of family and friends. How did it come to this? Please enlighten..

  • “Welcome to EE. I am sorry to hear that you have been scammed by NZ immigration. How did it happen? Let me answer your question with a question. How much money have you dumped into the NZ economy since you arrived? NZ is a country based on dairy, immigration (and the return of Kiwis with foreign earned cash), landlords and tourism. So many people are granted visas and get their qualifications recognized ($$$$$) only to arrive here to not be able to find work. In the meantime you drop tens of thousands into the NZ economy and then you are shown the door with a “we didn’t want you here anyway” attitude.NZ has a population of 4 million. About 240,000 are on the unemployment benefit, yet thousands are here on unskilled work permits (fruit picking, cafe work, hospitality). There are few professions in real demand (meaning that there are jobs currently available) and most available aren’t interested in migrants.Yet the immigration wheel continues to spin and to prop up a broken economy. Even Kiwis born and raised here must take an OE to buy property if they are not helped onto the ladder by family (or a family trust).It’s not your fault. Help the Karma wheel and tell your friends!Best to you!”

Thanks for your reply. You have hit the nail right on the head! And unfortunately yes, I have spent tons of money in trying to get certified and approved by immigration, the flight itself, renting a place, household items, etc.. as I said in the previous post, my savings are all gone even though i am a fairly economical person, hardly go out, cook from scratch, etc.. I would say and this is not an exaggeration, i have lost at least $10,000, to find out no one wants to hire me. It really makes me angry, not only at NZ but also at myself for getting fooled..this is what’s causing the depression. I am counting the days now, trying to warn people in another website who (some) are still wearing rose tinted glasses. At first I got flak but now more people and their stories are coming out of the woodwork and i really think it is helping prospective migrants think twice about coming here to NZ. I feel like one of those people who fell for the internet lottery scam or something. Again, thanks for your support.

My savings were wiped out in less than 3 months, i had a part-time job but it was a joke, did everything i had to do on my end to teach here( NZ claims to have a teacher shortage but no one will hire you, not even shortlist you) and luckily, LUCKILY i did not give up everything back home, am going back at the end of this month…almost got stuck here…”

We wish her every success with re-establishing herself in the States and hope that others will have the wisdom to learn something from her experience.

One thought on “Migrants’ Tales – Teacher Duped By the Hype, Couldn’t Find Work.

  1. I room with a lovely Korean girl who has a degree in international economics. Since coming to New Zealand, she has been studying English and working in dime stores (employed by fellow Asians). Years of this! I know a Japanese girl, also with a degree, who has been working only in gift shops since coming here. I cannot imagine what they get out of living here, but they feel pressured not to complain, so they don’t. I do believe that they would be embarrassed to go home and face their families and feel like a “failure” when they came to seek their fortunes, so they tough it out due to the potential loss of face. They should have better English by now, both of them, and part of that is finding it hard to make friends in New Zealand. This is a common complaint of migrants.

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