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New Zealanders Urged To Value Migrants More

New Zealand Association For Migration & Investment

New Zealanders Urged To Value Migrants More

“New Zealand politicians and the public need to recognise the contribution migrants are making to our society rather than persistently emphasising the downside,” says the chairman of this week’s gathering of immigration specialists.

David Cooper, Manager of Malcolm Pacific, is to chair the conference of the New Zealand Association for Migration & Investment (NZAMI), which takes place on Thursday 28th July and Friday 29th July at the Waipuna Conference Centre.

“We have a problem in this country in that we’re reluctant to look at the advantages immigration brings and over-ready to get excited about the problems associated with it.

“This tendency can be at its most acute in an election year, when politicians may find it tempting to make political capital out of knocking newcomers to our country. We sincerely hope that this will not happen to any extent during the current election campaign,” says David Cooper.

“The public is bewilderingly reluctant to look at the upside of immigration, such as the fact that more than 20 thousand newcomers have found their way into skilled employment in recent years and are now making a substantial and, in many cases, vital contribution to our workforce.

“This is surely a very positive achievement, considering the tightness of our labour market and the shortage of skills holding our economy back. However, you are more likely to hear complaints about immigration-related scams or migrants’ driving habits than praise for the many ways in which the newcomers help make New Zealand a better place. Inevitably, these complaints impact on government policy, often to the detriment of our economy,” he says.

“Perhaps we would take a more balanced and generous view of relative newcomers to our society, if we stopped thinking of them as ‘immigrants’ and started thinking of them as ‘new New Zealanders”, which is precisely what most of them are.

“We have to ask ourselves at precisely what point a migrant ceases being a migrant and become a Kiwi. Is it after two years, after ten years or after twenty? Common sense tells me that you stop being a migrant as soon as you gain residence in New Zealand. Once you live here, work here, pay taxes here and intend to stay here, you’re one of us and should be viewed as such,” Mr Cooper adds.

The NZAMI represents approximately 200 members throughout New Zealand, including immigration and investment consultants, lawyers, banks, business specialists and financial advisers.

Speakers at the conference are to include Immigration Minister, the Hon. Paul Swain, Associate Immigration Minister, the Hon. Damien O’Connor, Ethnic Affairs Minister, the Hon. Chris Carter and the Minister of Economic Development, the Hon. Jim Anderton, along with a range of experienced contributors from the immigration industry.

ENDS

Programme for NZAMI Conference (Waipuna Conference Centre – July 28/29)

Day 1 — Thursday 28 July 2005

8.30 am – 9.00 am Registration

9.00 am – 9.10 am Chairman’s Welcome – David Cooper of Malcolm Pacific

9.15 am – 9.30 am Official Opening by the Honourable Chris Carter, Minister of Ethnic Affairs

9.30 am – 9.45 am ASB Bank Migrant Banking

9.50 am – 10.30 am Workshop—Taxation and Asset Protection for Migrants
Sponsored by Hesketh Henry

10.30 am – 11.00 am Workshop—BizAngels – Linking Investors and Entrepreneurs
Sponsored by Enterprising Manukau

11.00 am – 11.20 am Morning tea

11.30 am – 12.10 pm Workshop—The Office of the Ombudsman
Presented by Yu Lina George and John Pohl

12.15 pm – 12.45 pm Workshop – Immigration Law and Practice – the course
Sponsored by Massey University

12.45 pm – 1.45 pm Lunch

1.45 pm – 3.00 pm Workshop—NZIS BMB Update and SMC, Health and WP Update
Presented by Michael Carley (Branch Manager BMB) and Carl Andrews

3.15 pm – 3.45 pm Afternoon tea

3.45 pm – 4.15 pm Workshop— NZ and Australian Immigration Policies Compared
Presented by Mark Tarrant, Solicitor, WrightStell Lawyers

4.15 pm – 5.00 pm Workshop – Immigration Industry Regulation – NZ and Australia
Presented by Bill Milnes, Access Immigration (NZ) and Laurette Chao, Gibsons Lawyers (Aus)

Cocktails — Thursday 28 July 2005
5.00 pm – 6.00 pm

Dinner — Thursday 28 July 2005
7.00 pm – 11,00 pm for NZAMI members and their partners
After Dinner Speaker—the Honourable Damien O’Connor, Associate Minister of Immigration

Day 2 — Friday 29 July 2005

8.30 am – 9.00 am Registration for Day 2

9.00 am – 9.15 am Chairman’s Welcome / housekeeping

9.15 am – 9.45 am Yong Lee of Kiwi Discovery
Success at Business Migration

9.45 am – 10.15 am Morning tea

10.15 am - 11.00 am The Honourable Paul Swain, Minister of Immigration
Immigration Now and Into the Future

11.15 am – 12.30 pm Mary Anne Thompson, Deputy Secretary Workforce (DOL)
The Workings of the Department of Labour’s Workforce incorporating the NZIS

12.30 pm – 1.45 pm Lunch

2.00 pm – 2.30pm The Honourable Jim Anderton, Minister of Economic Development
The Key Role of Immigration in the NZ Economy

2.30 pm – 2.45pm ASB Bank – Migrant Banking

2.45 pm – 2.55pm Official Closing

3.00 pm – 5.00 pm Annual General Meeting

ENDS

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