Skilled Migrants Asked To Tell Their NZ Work Stories

A reader has sent us a link to a post on 3 News‘ Facebook page.

Anyone who is considering emigrating to New Zealand as a skilled migrant without a firm job offer, or without full registration by a trade/professional body may want to read this:

We are looking for highly-skilled immigrants who came to NZ on a Skilled Migrants Visa, but have been unable to register or practice their profession in NZ. Please email your details to …… if is you, and you would like to be interviewed. source

Some people aren’t bothering to email the interviewer and are instead making their feelings known on the page.

Here’s what they’re saying.

Viv Kismetmore common that you might think!”

Rochelle Harrisenglish skills stand in way of many…and do u know how many *rocket scientists* (true!!) from russie and asian countries we have here that are working in unskilled jobs…incredible!!!”

Myra Gay Bateman “What’s the job?”

Chiara Di BenedettoBrown I’m sure you will be inundated by people who speak perfect English and yet cannot get work because they don’t have “Kiwi experience.”<

Lacey Bartlett “Huh, goes with the already hundreds of born and breed natives out of mahi too.. Stand in line people!”

Tracey Pomareyespls, interview the rocket scientist who gets job as a taxi driver. His wife is a qualified nurse and now a healthcare assistant.”

Chiara Di Benedetto Brown “‎@Lacey Bartlett Unfortunately, your government has a come-on campaign telling migrants that NZ is a friendly welcoming place that is dying for their skills and can’t wait to employ them.”

Sharon Ogden “I have a few Kiwi friends who are finding it extreamly hard to find a job in NZ, especially after the CHCH quakes. I’m all for a muticulture society but can’t NZ re-train those kiwis who are looking for work into the skilled industries that the country requires first??”

Aruna Jivan Ryder Go to the nearest Taxi stand – you’ll find hundreds there.”

Frank Driggers “Well folks I have been interested in relocating to NZ. Jack of all trades Ace of none kinda person and believe me I’ll trade anyone my US citizenship for their NZ credentials forthwith. A very good friend of mine lives in country and tells me I would enjoy the place. Any takers=}”

Anne Howland “Im definately not racist, but if a country cant find work for those already from here, shouldnt immigrants be sent packing back to there own country until nz is ready for them?”

Selina Kahiwhy dont u start giving interviews for people of the country dumarse…wats up with migrants our jobs…go figure !!!”

Myra Gay BatemanAustralia doe’s this too, advertise and employ immigrants over Australians…..Shame On You. Then they pay them peanuts cos they can. Shame!!!”

Shekinah Clayton “never mind the immigrants! what about us decent kiwis that need work? the goverment likes to complain about unemployment rates, when they go and hire people that can hardly speak english to do jobs that a kiwi could do, too many kiwis are leaving cos employers get more immigrants then kiwis..dam goverment stop letting them in!”

Chiara Di Benedetto BrownFrank: not recommended”

Myra Gay Bateman “Keep the kids in school till the end. It’s machines that do the work now….. computers. But they still need ppl to push the buttons.”

Amool Paranjpe “We don’t turn up here and sponge off other tax payers. We ditch 30 odd years of highly specialized experience to take up menial jobs that knobs like Raymond Murray and his highly skilled mates aren’t willing to do. They would rather sit on …the dole.

@Shekinah…it’s “damn Government”, not “dam”. Learn how to spell, otherwise your own standards might deprive you of employment. Better yet, pick up a student loan and do a BA in English. The student allowance might sort out your income for the next 3 years too. Idiot.”

Philip WoodKiwis struggle with the fact that usually their qualifications are inferior to overseas bodies. So they create barriers to prevent immigrants out-shining them. ICANZ is a prime example of this, being firmly in the 2nd division when ranking international accounting institutes.”

Birgit Rahm “moving to NZ was not the best career move for me. Not complaining though, good for family and safety.”

Siobhan EwingI posted this as my status to see if any of my friends might be interested. I know a few people who have already had to leave NZ because they couldn’t find work.

Daniel Yeoh “Oh yeah there are a number of peoples who with highly qualification as currently in NZ taxi driver… Feel free check it out these taxi driver and you will be surprise”

 Erina Toia“People who start comments with I am not racist, but……….New Zealanders go to other countries all the time to work and live, should they be sent packing from foreign lands of choice? Geez does it’s a two way street mean anything to you people”

Anastasia Burman “‎@ Anne howland what about all the kiwis going on there OE and getting job there ? Should all the other country’s send them packing ? They must be taking there jobs and economy crap everywhere at the moment . And if the immigrant got a job over you , look at why it is ? I employ people and kiwi,s got the worst work ethic (not all but lots) they want everything given to them but don’t want to do the hards yards.”
Melissa Pokaia The reason why there are so many highly qualified people driving Taxi’s is because there just isn’t many jobs available here.
The government as it stands today, is filled with a bunch of midnight tossers, who’s only interest is to find a way to improve the size of their own wallets and project a persona to the rest of world that NZ has the capability to go head to head with them within the business world. Thus being the reason the government advertises oversea’s for highly skilled people and bring them into NZ, however when they get here, there just isn’t any jobs here available, and this is no fault of any Immigrants that come here seeking these jobs.
Our government is too lazy and tight arsed to invest in our kiwi people. Why bother to spend the money it will take to train and educate someone from here, when they can get someone from oversea’s who is already qualified.Which leads to kiwi’s having to travel abroad just to be able to support their families. And ever since it was announced that the Rugby world cup is to be held here, Prices have sky rocketed, flippen ridiculous…People need jobs more then ever. @Lola.. The comment you made about young people wanting to wait for the dole to spend it on alcohol is pathetically ignorant.. I know a few young people whom after finishing university and graduating couldn’t find a job, because there weren’t any available. So they are currently on the dole.. yet still actively seeking jobs. Nobody WANTS to be on the dole, who the hell can live on that these days… ( ask any young person if he/she would want to make a hundred dollars a week on the dole, or 8hundred dollars a week working – Can you guess what their answer would be? ) ..@Anastasia I have been told from a few people I have met ( oversea’s business people ) that Kiwi’s are highly valued because of their work ethic…”

Erina Toia “It’s funny though, because the govt seems to employ immigrants in high profile position that actually don’t have the qualifications. Lol the Maori TV guy from Canada, the social services woman from the UK and the international spy dude from the UK who liked telling state secrets to anyone that would listen. Maybe all those rocket scientists driving cabs should lie to get a decent job.”

Perhaps a more pertinent question would’ve been “Why are skilled migrants still being attracted to NZ if there clearly isn’t the work for them?”

For clues to the answers to that question read our Migrants Tales series and our Economics, Demographics And Immigration page

17 thoughts on “Skilled Migrants Asked To Tell Their NZ Work Stories

  1. HuiChuan Zhang,

    I was only a reader until I saw your comment, HuiChuan Zhang and now I can’t help it.

    I am working FULL TIME and my job is PERMANENT position. So far, I have only heard comments about how Thai – English is very easy to understand (unlike many countries especially where your name came from). For your record, I am Thai and my degree I am presenting is from one of the Sandstone Universities in Australia (Google it). I came here without any need of NZ visa as I have my Australian passport (got my very own permanent resident visa of Australia almost 11 years ago under skilled migrant visa after graduated)

    And HELLO! Who you are referring to as “THEY” when your name is HuiChuan Zhang? If something is going to be faked from somewhere, they are most likely to come from YOU, isn’t it? OHH I forgot, you might not even know who you are trying to be or you forgot who you really are.

    I found it very hard to get a job in New Zealand. I used to apply jobs using my own surname (it’s Thai surname of course), and I didn’t get any interview. Then, I started changing it to my partner’s (He came from the UK, met in Australia, and moved here together). Then I managed to get a few interviews. No job offer though and not even for my partner!! He is speaking English and he is English and he came from ENGLAND HELLOOOO!!

    However, we are now living in the so- called biggest city of the country and has found jobs that at least suitable for our qualifications and luckily the pay packages are better than average. We still talk about how hard it was for us and we still have debts to pay off till these days (while we had no job, we had no income, and no real help from work and income so we lived on our credit cards and overdraft). We stopped renting and has now bought our own home (never mind the mortgage, we have to pay the council rate too!). This is just a little part of our story. We are trying to make New Zealand our home. Please observe “TRYING”.

  2. On the post by P Ray, Skilled migrants feel misled by work-visa policy, how proficient in English these migrants? Not undermining the Thais, but I do have hard time understanding their English! Alot of these migrants are opportunists, so they will jump at the slightest opportunity. You never know what kind of degrees they are presenting or did they just pay for those papers. Check out Singapore and these migrants is at its worst in Singapore!

    • Rather than put the spotlight on migrants previously having been assessed at having English of a level acceptable to be allowed entry into New Zealand,
      I would like to ask what makes the average New Zealander WITHOUT a proven qualification in English (and having the kind of position that indicates impartiality and an observance of the law, e.g. a Justice of the Peace) the arbiter of whether a person can speak English?

      Unintuitively, being around people whose standards of English vary can lead to the ability to understand different accents. I’ve found the Irish brogue tough to understand, myself (my understanding is improving though).

      Which is why a pencil and paper are necessary, along with the statement “I’m better able to help if the instructions or your query were written down”. No harm in taking a step to make sure the other person is understood.

      It also surely makes working for people who love only giving spoken instructions, a paper trail.
      Many bad bosses love using that as their only mode of communication, it gives them unaccountability.

      “You never know what kind of degrees they are presenting or did they just pay for those papers.”
      Which is exactly why I find it suspicious when people only perform their Masters degrees overseas.
      For me, a bad bachelor’s means a fiddled Master’s. Then again, with twinning (and the idea that once the learning overseas is complete the student returns home) … it is entirely possible that the joint university overseas can tell their partner in the West to fiddle the results so that they can keep getting students on the basis of “Their teachers must be so good, look at how many pass”.

      Then again, I’ve been hearing distressing things about people marking papers in Australia for the arts faculties, being told to pass international students who have plagiarised.

      Which leads me once again to that wondrous conclusion:

      You can only have a world-class standard of education and learning …
      when you have a world-class amount of failures in that field.

      If everybody got a degree … that degree … isn’t very valuable or does not require much effort to get.

      • True.
        The first thing to understand about this world is that those who educate you have a vested interest in keeping you unaware of certain unpleasant realities.

        And that not everything that’s popular is good … and not everything that’s good is popular.

        Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

        “Those who are still looking for jobs and don’t want to go back.”
        BTW if you’re looking for work on an expired visa that means you’re an overstayer and breaking the law,
        hence very open to exploitation from people who want to pay you less than minimum wage.
        Which is why overstayers are very popular with people who want to increase the bottom line of companies with labour-intensive industries.
        People working for less and delivering the same output = higher profits for the company, no need to pay into KiwiSaver, easier to hire/fire and wages can also be withheld easily.

  3. Greedy employers are like pirates, I’ve been a migrant to NZ with the help of a company for the immigration thing. After that i had worked a work that was i lined with my degree unfortunately I fell short. I had a chance to work to another company but those bastards were giving me sick pays. They promise much but when payday comes Duhhh..

    • WI we removed your name and the direct link it contained to a NZ immigration company with the same initials. We also removed references to that company in your message.

      Your IP address ( is the same as that exposed as sending spam immigration mail in the Avalon’s Guide blog. We however won’t be publishing the company’s name or giving them any more publicity than they deserve..

  4. You are absolutely right Moonlight. Only let’s be careful on how inform them. It is important not to stress this kind knowledge on anyone. Let the outsider ask for it. I personally would reject anyone coming to me trying to “make me understand something” of their own experience if you know what I mean.
    So yes, tell everyone and .. be cleaver.

  5. Yes, they are vultures in human form. I feel for those migrants though, that’s why it’s important to spread the word, tell your family, friends, acquaintances, etc the truth about this place, to avoid more victims falling into this trap.

    • Unfortunately, the people “falling for the trap” happen to be exactly the kind of people who won’t speak up since they have an image to maintain (“I’m educated and a professional, there’s no way I could have fallen for that”) back home.
      As an example I wonder if Chanon Jitkomut wrote to newspapers in Thailand about his predicament. My opinion is that given that he has a family, and is the sole breadwinner, and has a reputation to maintain back home, that doesn’t seem likely.
      This idea of embarrassment then allows the cheating to continue.
      It’s a funny cycle: Because people don’t want to be seen as victims, they won’t speak up to others in their community about being victimised, thus allowing more people from their community to be victimised.

      • Exactly, P Ray. They want to save face. If they were so smart, they wouldn’t have fallen for the hype, leaving themselves open to the accusation of “not having done your research before moving”, something no professional or “skilled” person wants to think of themselves. “Hi, I have a Master’s in Diddlysquat Sciences, and I was duped by nation branding hype to think I would find a great lifestyle on a remote island full of sheep and petty thieves”
        Who would admit that.
        No wonder they grit their teeth and keep passing the kool-aid around. It would be embarrassing to come clean..

  6. They are highwaymen, robbing doctors and scientists. The squandered human potential and families of the victims are of no concern to them. Lining their grubby pockets with stunts like the ones they pull will buy bread for their own children tonight, though. That”s the mentality.

  7. There’s one more for the mill – the idea of “face” and embarrassment gives many employers an upper hand in devaluing immigrant skills and experience.
    Skilled migrants feel misled by work-visa policy
    By Lincoln Tan
    5:30 AM Thursday Jun 16, 2011

    Chanon Jitkomut. Photo / Natalie Slade

    Bangkok university lecturer Chanon Jitkomut thought his Silver Fern work visa was a ticket to a job and a better life in New Zealand.

    But the only opportunities the 33-year-old science graduate has found since arriving last month have been low paid and unskilled, including a food-court job that paid $6 an hour.

    The visa policy was started to attract young, highly skilled migrants to settle in the country to give “businesses international connections” and “provide skills to transform our economic landscape”.

    Hundreds of people lodged applications within 30 minutes of the scheme’s launch, but many who have arrived are struggling to find work.

    A 34-year-old former business analyst with a multinational company is now working as a stripper to pay her rent.

    Another who holds a master’s degree in economics is working in a Korean restaurant for $400 a week.

    Both resigned from jobs and took on loans to move to New Zealand. But they do not want to return home because they would lose face.

    “The Silver Fern visa is like a trap,” said Mr Chanon, a former hospitality lecturer at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University. “It gives you false hope and puts you in a position where you can easily be exploited as cheap labour by employers after you get here.

    “I am desperate and I will take any job I can get, even if it is under minimum wage, because I have a wife and child in Thailand waiting for me to send money.”

  8. If I want to be really depress I will come and visit this blog. It is an absolute place for most people to trash New Zealand. Laugh out so loud – can anyone here do that too or how about giving some smile.

    Most people who come to NZ made “their own” to decision to come – no one has shoved nor pushed them or maybe even put a gun in someone’s head to make that decision to emigrate. Can anyone spell “recession”? oh yeah recess-yawn – maybe that is what’s happening here – Economic Recession – not just here. Did I just hear that it is happening all around the world? Oh yeah, I did – must have been reading world news.

    In comparison to other countries, New Zealand’s not too bad – unless you kind of walk with that big chip in your shoulder and your hands are in your empty pocket for that money you spent with Immigration New Zealand – well, I cant blame you. In the first place, it is a small country – hello! any one there – all cars, cows and sheep and no people around. Uhm my gawd – what is this place anyway?

    To cut it short mayties or mates – cheer up – there is always a light at the end of the New Zealand tunnel – someone is bringing a flashlight or they call it here a “TORCH” – yeah a torch that will lighten up everyone’s moods – dreams will be achieve when you get your “Residency” then New Zealand passport. As they say woohoo! It is all about PATIENCE, HARD WORK, HONESTY and THE MOST IMPORTANT IS FOLLOW THE RULES! If you can’t thenmaybe it is time to may that other decision.

  9. P Ray, I know exactly what you mean and what you have been through.
    Let me tell you this story. Some years ago, I got a job interview in Vietnam at a prestigious university in HCM. Got the job, started lecturing right the way (corporate law, international law and business English). I guess they didn’t realize that I was Italian and not a native at the time of the interview. Anyway, the academic advisor was from NZ, and needless to say, he was absolutely not up to the challenge of being in charge of developing any program. I never knew what his qualifications and experience were, all I know is that his syllabus was strategically illogical (to use an euphemism.. rubbish to be more accurate) and that after he left (the board eventually realized his limitations) they had to hire a new advisor and start from scratch.
    My point here is that in New Zealand (and in any other Anglophone country, unfortunately.. English proficiency tests represent a huge business for them) they would assess a foreigner by birth certificate and not by skills and qualifications (which may or on may not be important after all.. the majority of the foreigners I met in NZ were far more intelligent and creative than most locals,..qualifications apart ) because more profitable to them.
    Bottom line, foreigners and Education are the perfect synergy to get rich, if you run the dice.

  10. For people wondering what Raymond Murray said:
    Raymond Murray highly-skilled immigrants.. oxymoron much?
    He studied at Massey Auckland, lives in Warkworth, New Zealand and is from Christchurch, New Zealand.

    … should skilled migrants feel welcome, with this kind of attitude being the first to greet them?

    Before I began my studies at university, despite having a qualification in English, I was told that I needed to take remedial English.
    This board can judge the suitability of that assessment. I rest my case.

  11. Well said Erina. That is exactly the point.
    Quid pro quod has always been my motto. Not that I really like to live by it. It is just that none can without, either consciously or subconsciously.

    The lack of intent in our actions seems to contribute to the “doing it because of” and that is the principle of Market and modern Economy.
    There is a good 1/3 of the kiwi population living (and legally working) abroad. Why wouldn’t be just fair to have the same amount of foreigners redistributed, proportionally, back to their country.
    It is just ridiculous that this situation hasn’t been brought out publicly and globally exposed by the media yet.


    A bunch of people landing to your country every year, willing to live basically on their own money since day one, because of the scarcity of jobs and the general lack of ethics, is what they want, and they advertise for it.
    I call it “operation gold mine of the 21st century”.
    The flux of “deluded sheep” must be kept constant, uninterrupted. The country’s economy depends on it.

    And that is the reason why we have those state sponsored advertisements always on (costing also quite a few doubloons too.. sure they consider it as an investment.. and who would you think is making the ad and getting paid for it.. a foreign contractor?? yea right.. it is a kiwi!).

    Do not believe in them.

    I have had enough experience with that to last for a life time and more. When I was in Canada, in Australia, and lately in NZ. Always the same scam. It is what it is. Simple ministerial fraud.

    So at the end, I have personally decided not to contribute to their finances anymore, and let them deal with the consequences of their catastrophic economy, and unethical behavior.

    I have accepted a job offer in China, where my qualifications, degrees, and experience are properly considered and well (actually very well) compensated.

    Just a thought for any of you thinking .. Why am I bothering here?

    Wait I know .. fantastic sightseeings? ..Beautiful landscapes? Low density of population and a nuclear-free test zone?

    It is not racism people (which btw at the end is only another word for a projection of someone’s stupidity onto someone else), it is just lack of resources, skills and creativity.

    Ciao a tutti



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