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Petition Presented Against Racist Language Test

Petition Presented Against Racist Language Test

ACT New Zealand Leader Richard Prebble today presented the petition of Kenneth Wang and 7,296 others calling on Parliament to review the new English language immigration tests.

"Mr Wang, who was number ten on the ACT list in the general election, launched his petition in November, as soon as the Labour Government hiked the requirement for English language immigration tests to 6.5 points.

"The petition will be referred automatically to the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, which under standing orders has authority over immigration. I have already lodged a request with the Committee that it conducts an inquiry into the November 19 changes in English language requirements for immigrants from non-English speaking nations.

"I believe the Committee should not only hear from petitioner Mr Wang, but also from immigration applicants who have been adversely affected by the change. There are a substantial number of would-be immigrants who have invested in this country and set up businesses, only to be told that regardless of how successful their business has been, they may lose everything on a new English language test.

"The MPs should also examine whether the new requirement for 6.5 points in the English language tests - the equivalent of University English - is the correct level. If the MPs decide that it is, then the decision has to be asked, why aren't all immigrants asked to sit this test?

"I note National MP Pansy Wong has also presented a petition to parliament today.

"The fact that there have been a number of petitions presented in such a short time means that the Committee will have to hold an inquiry.

"The large number of signatures on Mr Wang's petition compared to others reflects the NZ Herald exit poll results which showed ACT New Zealand is the party of first choice among new New Zealanders," Mr Prebble said.

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