Migrant intake should satisfy national interest

Bawa Arora 

New Zealand is often described as the youngest country on Earth.

It is also considered a nation of immigrants.

First settlers arrived from Eastern Polynesia, believed to have been followed by Europeans.

Immigrants continue to enrich New Zealand with their skills, culture, food and practices.

We have contributed and continue to contribute positively to the New Zealand success story. It is said that New Zealanders represent at least 104 nationalities.

Indians form a good number of people keen on migrating to New Zealand.

We do so for varied reasons – some for its lifestyle, some for ease of doing business and some to escape the stresses of life that we experience in our cities back home.

New Zealand has welcomed and continues to welcome people.

Indians are the primary source of skilled migrants for New Zealand.

Need for change

It is our duty to understand and appreciate the reasons behind recent policy changes on immigration settings.

Many political parties have suggested that cuts to immigration are needed so that there is a right mix of talent coming into the country. This is further evidence that New Zealand is taking decisions based on what is best for national interest.

Immigration over the past decade provided a rich pool of skilled talent.

Equally it has also led to low skilled people with minimal language skills to arrive, only to find themselves without jobs.

When unskilled migrants are unable to find jobs, it opens them up to exploitation, stories of which are published regularly.

As the world moves on to use better and more sophisticated technology, New Zealand should make changes to its policies so that it continues to be a destination for people with the best talent and skills.

For this to happen, any government, regardless of its ideological leanings, should take decisions that are in the best interests of the country.

People who say that these changes are against the Indian community clearly have their own agendas and business interests.

As Kiwi Indians, it is our duty to ensure that the right message gets delivered to our family, friends and wider networks in our native country.

Bawa Arora is an immigrant from India and has been in New Zealand on Permanent Resident status for more than 10 years.

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