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WIA condemns statement by Shane Jones

WIA condemns statement by Shane Jones

The Indian diaspora in New Zealand is outraged and anguished over two events that occurred over the last few days.

The first was the announcement by the government that it was lifting the ban on the parent visa category. This visa was temporarily put on hold by the previous National government. While it should have been a cause of rejoicing the strictures that have been applied by the current Labour government have plunged the diaspora into deep despair. The income threshold to apply for this Visa is stratospheric. Only the extremely wealthy can avail of this provision leaving the 200,000-strong enterprising migrant Kiwi-Indian population with a sense of despair.

The Waitakere Indian Association receives this decision with regret and a growing sense of outrage. Nothing has changed except the polemics. The government and its spokespeople may be congratulating themselves but the diaspora regrets the provisions of the new policy. Where the applicant is the only child, the emotional, financial and mental strain this will cause, will be counterproductive to the social and mental wellbeing that the government is preaching in various policies.

Hence WIA urges the Government to reconsider its stance and is happy to have a dialogue with the Immigration Minister to find a solution.

The second item was the absolutely trashy and street-level sentiments on Indian marriage customs made by NZ First Minister Shane Jones. The WIA strongly condemns the statement of Mr Jones where he advised Indian immigrants to take the ‘first plane home’ if they did not agree with the changes in the partner visa policy. The policy expects a couple to be in a relationship for at least a year before the immigration application can be made. While the modalities of the policy can be debated and discussed, the sentiments expressed by Mr Jones should be condemned across the political spectrum. It is regrettable that only one Member of Parliament has shown solidarity with the Indian diaspora. We demand an apology from the minister on these insensitive remarks. The Diaspora would like to seek answers from the Immigration Minister on his silence and allowing such polarising remarks by Minister of Regional Development. It is not fair to make such racially serotype remarks for the whole community.

We request Hon Prime Minister, Minister of Ethnic Communities, MPs, to support our demand for a public apology from the rogue minister.

WIA will continue its efforts to make New Zealand an inclusive society. We call upon the Minister of Immigration and Ethnic Communities to engage with the community to understand the cultural differences and collaboratively work towards providing a solution to incorporate it into the immigration policy.


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