Skilled Migrants Drive Taxis To Survive

We’ve heard it many times – migrants have qualifications approved to gain permanent residency and then find NZ employers won’t employ them because they won’t recognise those same qualifications. It’s madness, or perhaps xenophobic protectionism. Here’s an article by David Kemeys in The (North) Shore Times to demonstrate the problem.

Mehmet Mohammed has problems. He’s an immigrant from Turkey – and a Muslim.
Camel jockey, sand nigger, bomb chucker – I’ve heard them all.”People are quite distrusting of me because they think I’m an Arab and I’m going to blow them up or something. Or they think I must own a restaurant or a kebab shop.”

Mehmet is an engineer – code for taxi driver where immigrants are concerned.

And it is on Auckland’s taxi ranks where the horrible waste of talent is brought into sharp focus. Checking at Auckland’s airport seven drivers – all Indians – were a radiographer, two engineers, an electrical engineer, an accountant, a teacher and a blood analyst chemist.

None can get work in their chosen fields for a variety of reasons, but mostly because their qualifications from Indian institutions are not recognised. Generally speaking they accept it with a shrug, arguing they came to New Zealand to secure a better life for their children.

But two of those seven are planning to abandon their dreams of a new life and return to India, where they say the economy is booming.
“The drunks are the worst. Some of them treat you like dirt, but I am not sure that’s because we are Indian, or just because they are drunk,” one of the drivers says.
“I’ve been called an elephant jockey,” says another.
“I’m from Mumbai and I’d never seen an elephant until I visited the zoo here with my kids. It’s incredible how ignorant some of the people are.
“They think we all wander about like Gandhi or beg in the streets, but Mumbai is a very highly developed city.”

See also: Asians braced for a bashing– many Asians cannot understand why they are met with such hostility because they are meant to be sought-after migrants. Racism on the street is even directed at fourth generation New Zealand-born Asians who speak perfect English.

See also: Dumb Down, If you Want to Find a Job in NZ

8 thoughts on “Skilled Migrants Drive Taxis To Survive

  1. Have you noticed that for a very long time now, at least a year and probably more, clicking on the “needed skills” part of the NZ immigration website leads you to a message “Sorry, our website is currently unavailable temporarily. Please try again soon”. If they need skilled migrants, why not supply a list of needed skills? We will have to assume they don’t need any!

  2. This is Google’s cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 26 Feb 2010

    That isn’t the only thing foreigners are being forced into.

    Chinese students lured to become sex workers
    27 February, 2010

    4 a.m. | Sex workers are using a bilingual sex information leaflet to recruit international students and other young Chinese women into the industry.

    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a 20-year-old Chinese international student told the Weekend Herald she decided to become a sex worker after being given the Working in New Zealand leaflet, which is produced by the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.

    “It is not easy for international students to find employment in New Zealand, and reading the brochure made me feel less afraid of getting into sex work,” she said in Mandarin.

    • It’s at least NZD120/hour, sometimes cash in hand.
      How do I know? Advertisements in NZ papers, as “adult entertainers” for clubs.
      I wonder if that’s on the Skills Shortage list, though.

      I take issue with the headline, though. “Chinese students lured to become sex workers”
      Nobody is lured, they go in with their eyes open, prostitution is legal in NZ, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Columbia … among other places.
      Dr. Brooke Magnanti (Belle De Jour) enjoyed the empowerment and finances that sex work gave her to continue her cancer research.

      And sometimes the disabled people need sex to feel human. This is where such workers come in

      • To continue the article posted above by steggy:
        Older, more experienced prostitutes hand the booklets to young Chinese women.

        The brochure spells out, in Chinese and English, exactly how to start working in the sex industry – including advice on what to wear, getting started, how to select a working name and how to perform sex tricks. “Young Asian girls are being recruited by older sex workers, who use us to get new customers, and work with them to provide a bi-double service to make more money,” she said. Working privately from a North Shore City suburb, the business student, who came to New Zealand on a student permit, said she knew of at least three other Chinese students – not all on student permits – who turned to sex work after receiving the leaflets. The brochures are readily available for pickup at the reception counter at the collective’s Auckland office in Karangahape Rd, but they are also distributed by its volunteers and staff.

        Although prostitution was decriminalised in 2003, it is unlawful for any person on a temporary permit to work in the sex industry, says Immigration New Zealand. “Immigration New Zealand takes all allegations of this nature seriously and will take action against any individual found to be breaching the conditions of their permit in this way,” said department head Nigel Bickle. A police source said Auckland police were also alarmed at the rising number of ads in local Chinese media promoting “student sex”.

        My comment? So it’s the older ladies – some of which are of the same ethnicity as the students – who pass them that information.
        And they’re working to get more money. Capitalism AND a sense of community. Those two coming together are rare indeed…

        • The down side to choosing to be involved with prostitutes when you’re of advanced age AND the police have other crimes to deal with:

          “The women first started taking the money for services but later used “sob stories” or intimidation.

          Of the five cases she was aware of, three had threatened gang affiliations. “The men feel hurt, ashamed and deceived as they believed this person was a good person. It’s so sad.”

          New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective regional co-ordinator Anna Reed was aware of sex workers abusing the elderly but said it was uncommon.

          Any signs of missing cash or property, excessive use of credit cards or any strangers regularly turning up on an elderly person’s doorstep should be reported.”

        • Oh snap, that method of earning a living is now illegal for some people:

          Sex work no go, student visitors told
          By Lincoln Tan
          5:30 AM Monday Mar 25, 2013 ✩Save

          Although prostitution was decriminalised in 2003, it is illegal for people on temporary visas, including foreign students, to work in the sex industry. Photo / Thinkstock
          International students are being warned against working as prostitutes in a new Immigration New Zealand employment advice website.

          The site,, aims to provide advice and support for international students seeking to work here, says Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.

          According to the website, jobs that students can’t legally do include being self-employed, working as an independent contractor or working in the adult entertainment industry.

          “International students also can’t provide commercial sexual services,” the website said.

          “In other words, they can’t work as a prostitute, act as an operator of a New Zealand prostitution business or invest in a prostitution business.”

          Although prostitution was decriminalised in 2003, it is illegal for people on temporary visas, including foreign students, to work in the sex industry.

          Immigration NZ general manager Stephen Dunstan said New Zealand legislation did not preclude students from working as massage therapists.

          My comment? They might redefine what a “massage” is …

          • According to a Kiwi acquaintance, it is not uncommon for Kiwi women to make some extra money that way on their OE, to pay off their student loans or tuck away a tidy sum for another purpose, like buying the all-important property. Bring home a nasty disease or two, but they made more money than they would have been able to make in New Zealand at least. They get something “for it” (the acts with gross strangers, the health risks) that they seem to value highly.

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