Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.
Today’s tale was sent in by Zeb, he left India to undertake a degree in New Zealand. Zeb’s parents paid $80,000 for his New Zealand education. Upon graduation Zeb found his ethnicity a barrier to finding employment, resulting in discrimination at every turn.
If you are an international student about to make a significant investment in your future with the aim of getting residency in New Zealand, you should read the following. Then decide if New Zealand really is the right country for you.
“Reading all the previous comments here, I thought to tell my share of ‘fairy-tale’ of my sojourn to the great nation of New Zealand. While I could go on and on about the incidents of racism and bigotry that I experienced in New Zealand, I will at this instance keep it restricted to work.
A NZ degree cuts no ice
See, I my case, I landed in NZ as an international student and completed a Degree in Information System. I thought I would be flooded by offers, given that my area of expertise was in skill shortage list. I genuinely wanted to stay in NZ for a few more years, and gather some experience. Guess what, that was a bad call. In colleges I worked on a project for a very prominent company as part of my curriculum, so I thought I should apply there first, after some one and a half month I got a very sad looking reply that they couldn’t employ me as I didn’t fit their criteria well. Surprise surprise, these are the same folks that benefitted greatly from my project and now I wasn’t fitting into their woodwork. Alas! I should have gone back to India, my motherland , that’s what I thought seeing that rejection. But then I though that it was their loss that they didn’t employed me, and moved on. After that I literally was applying some five jobs per day, money was less so I got a part time job as a petrol pump attendant, something that I wouldn’t have done back home. But my New Zealand dream was keeping my blood warm while I was filling up people’s car at five in the morning, in bone chilling winter. I had high hopes for myself, I thought I will get an interview call today. Nothing happened.
“Would you Indians give me a job if I go begging for it in India?”
My friend suggested to go meet an employment consultant in Hamilton. So, one day I dropped in to the office. And guess what happened. The dude who was hardly taking any interest in me finally got over me and in a very harsh tone asked me. ‘ Would you Indians give me a job if I go begging for it in India? ‘ and ‘ Why don’t you go work at a petrol pump? Your Indian folks run that industry’ . That was the most humiliating thing ever, not because working at petrol pump is a low class job in my opinion, but it was him trying to humiliate me. Well, I thanked him my most gracious of voice, and in pure kiwi accent and walked away as I was getting late for my job at Petrol Station!
I come from a very educated family, so I was rather concerned now. Time was flying and there wasn’t any phone call yet, my inbox was flooding with rejections.I wasn’t able to comprehend the why of it and my effort to know why often failed as the job advertisers failed to give an formidable reply for rejection. Anyways, one day I realized I had lost a significant amount of weight, was anemic and in a constant state of depression. It was hard to make ends meet working at the petrol station.
I am a Muslim with Arabic sounding name and am definitely not a terrorist. I was in terror myself, terror of losing my sanity. One day I was visited by my friends father, he is American and owns a company in New Zealand. I talked to him and was telling what I was going through, to which he offered me a job saying that he has some industrial contacts and he can work it out for me. I had to refuse, a man of honor I was. How could I have accepted someone’s favor.
Change your name to an English one
I denied politely, to which he suggested that I should try change my name to an English sounding one and give it a try.His suggestion worked and I was got three calls in the next one month, and finally accepted a position in Tech Support, for which I was definitely overqualified but having something is better than nothing.
My job was in Queenstown! Yay, i thought. The pay was below industry standard and there was no added perks. I knew I wouldn’t be able to save a dime there, i knew i was not going to get any return of the eighty grand of my parent’s hard earned money that was shelled upon my education in this great nation.
Bullying and terrorist slurs
Anyways, I started out. I found it too cold and very expensive place. My office environment was rather cold, I was the only non white there. It didn’t made any difference to me but I noticed that the co- workers were rather concerned by it. I ignored that, tried to be friendly and on good terms with everybody and focused on my job. Soon it came crystal clear that there was some serious cases of mismanagements inside, and there was a group of bullies who held their domain upright. Kiwis run their companies like they run their country,by boasting and not delivering. Anyway, soon I was working overtime without pay, I had the greatest workload and yet the credit went to my south African team leader who didn’t even held a diploma, and was definitely under qualified and was just baking his bread there. I was working for them, rather than the company. I felt reduced, depressed and bullied. My advices weren’t looked upon, and they looked down upon me.I was often called upon by my boss and false allegations were made! Also, very often they used racial slurs and once I was even told a terrorist by one of the managers. My complaint went in vain, and soon they created a situation to throw me out. And guess what, they were successful.
The day I walked out of that dreary place, I gained back my lost self confidence. I felt good,I called m folks and bought a ticket back home. And within a month of my return I got a very nice job in IBM India, working with qualified and warm people who actually have knowledge. And I often regret for waiting so long, and it’s only now that when I compare, I can see how DUMB New Zealanders are!
No wonder the country is going to the Gods, while the immigrants are facing radical problems. I wonder if John Key cares about it while trying to avail investors from Asia?
My suggestion to potential immigrants, if you read the likes of Anton Chekov and Bertrand Russell, find a better option. If you are DUMB and are only good at guzzling tonnes of Alcohol and sleeping around, look toward the great nation of New Zealand!”
You may also be interested in
International students only seen as “cash cows”
You’ve got to hand it to the professor of Asian studies at Auckland University**. She isn’t afraid to say what a lot of us have known for some time, it’s just refreshing to see it spoken about so frankly. What makes her statements so much more credible is that she is in the position to know more about these things than the rest of us.
From another excellent article by the migration affairs reporter in the New Zealand Herald, Lincon Tan, we learn that:
“International students are worth $2 billion annually to the economy. “If you want to put it crudely, they are seen only as cash cows,” said Professor Manying Ip, a professor of Asian studies at Auckland University.”…read on
9 thoughts on “Indian Professional Faced Discrimination”
you say “reduced to driving taxi’s”, its the same for everyone, Indian or no, Spent my entire adult life working in minimum wage jobs, while at the same time I can disassemble pretty much anything, repair it, and reassemble it, I have Degrees and a large student loan I’ll probably never be able to pay back.
this place has few high paying jobs, its not that which is stopping you from getting them, its they are already taken.
the racism you are talking about is not related to jobs, its probably because when you see the culture of your entire street change in the matter of a single year(about 10 years ago), you get angry, like my street, I’m one of four people not from india on it now, that itself didn’t bother me so much, but the 3 am full volume phone calls, the throwing rubbish on the street, the staring at me as I walk down the street minding my own business, the multi Sub Box cars booming at full volume at all hours of the night pulling out of driveways in blocks of flats that have 19 appartments in them, with no respect for the fact that others are asleep and have work.
I came from a small country town, with parents who raised me in such a way as I didn’t know that racism was a thing untill I was about 10-12, after having my sleep constantly interupted, being stared at for no reason, my stuff ruined(one idiot keeps putting his smoke butts out on my car when I’m asleep, I’ll catch him eventually), for a good 10-11 years straight now I can understand why there is such a racist tone towards Indians in NZ.
This is not a surprise at all, I have seen many ethnicities in New Zealand including indians, Asians and etc who are just reduced to working at McD’s or driving Taxis
Also in terms of Auckland where I lived until 2009, I have seen many Indian people just reduced to driving taxis or working at McD’s as well
These cases or stories are no surprise at all, my mum faced the same thing when she was working at Mitre 10
Wow, another Mitre 10 case? My brother worked there and was bullied out and he’s an NZer! It’s sickening. Kiwis do this to their own people as well. We don’t even want to be referred to as kiwis or NZers.
Yep you have got it ShanP. To admit that one is a Kiwi is like admitting that one has a disease or a deformity. Or simply that one is the product of a dodgy gene pool.
The NZ race of retards could be regarded as a failed eugenics experiment.
OK lets admit, it’s really embarrassing.
Please come back. India needs her educated youth.
I’m Indian. I’ll admit they face discrimination here. Maybe it’s scars of the Partition or riots but the younger generation abhor that Muslims are called terrorists. Whenever there has been a terrorist attack by foreign Muslims we know that Indians irrespective of faith are murdered.People of either religions act similarly according to their social backgrounds. We are Indians before being Hindus and we stand united.
I believe you man. I experienced the same when I was working at New Zealand Post.
Hope I never set foot on THAT COUNTRY again!
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