Immigration NZ outreach plan gets thumbs up
Immigration New Zealand has embarked on an outreach programme with migrant communities to explain the recent changes in visa rules.
Last August, the reintroduction of
the parent visa category with amended rules and changes to
the partnership visa rules had created disquiet in the
Indian and other migrant communities.
This was exacerbated by comments made by New Zealand First leader and Cabinet Minister Shane Jones who severely criticized the Indian community for protesting the amended visa rules.
Immigration New Zealand decided to reach out to the Indian community and explain the new visa regulations. Last Saturday, the first of a planned series of meetings to be held across the country, was held at Auckland at the newly-opened Diversity Center of the Indian Association of Manukau New Zealand.
The meeting was organised and hosted by Immigration New Zealand’s National Manager Engagement Matt Hoskin and his team. Around 20 Indian associations were represented at the meeting.
The Immigration New Zealand team gave a brief presentation about the changes and explained the rationale behind it. This was followed by a robust exchange of views and a question and answer session with the leaders of the diaspora.
Welcoming the initiative, President of Waitakere Indian Association, Sunil Kaushal said, ‘We welcome Immigration New Zealand’s proactive approach with the community and fully support the move to ensure New Zealand allows skilled migrants who will add value to our economy”. He went on to say, “5 percent of New Zealand population identify themselves with Indian roots and who positively contribute over 8 percent of New Zealand GDP. We need to ensure that we attract skilled migrants from across the world to make New Zealand a competitive and flourishing country in the OECD.”
The meeting was held in a warm and cordial atmosphere and the consensus at the end of the meeting was that Immigration NZ had assuaged the feelings of the Indian community and assured them that they would be kept in the loop in the future.