Wellington, October 16, 2019
New Zealanders are known for their welcoming nature.
Our country rightly welcomes people who choose to come here to live, work, and make our country a better place.
Which is why, it is so perplexing to see the current Government granting residency to convicted criminals when there are queues of law-abiding people who are denied the opportunity to add value to New Zealand.
Fewer Indian students
Currently, we are seeing visa-processing delays across the board and New Zealand businesses are paying the cost of having delays for desperately needed workers.
The uncertainty, delays and refusals from Indian visa applicants has skyrocket under the Labour government. There are now fewer Indian students getting visas to study in New Zealand, partner visas for marriage face extremely long stays and families visitors are waiting more than 6 months before their visas applications are often turned down.
One area that seems to have a streamlined visa process is when the Minister has to approve residency for a convicted criminal.
Residency for drug offender
We already know that the Government spent less than an hour approving residency for convicted drug offender, gang associate and fraudster Karel Sroubek who was granted residence when he was in prison, but it now emerges that the Minister of Immigration has now also approved residency for a recidivist drink-driver- a person who has six drink driving convictions and has put the public’s safety at risk.
At the same time, my office has received numerous enquiries from constituents who are at breaking point mentally due to their partnership applications being declined or being processed for over many months in offshore branches.
Many of these applications are from highly skilled individuals, IT solutions architects, IT Managers and Charted Financial Accountants, who New Zealand desperately needs and who have over the years paid more yearly taxes than New Zealand’s median wages.
The Government needs to sort out its priorities. New Zealand needs more skilled migrants who can add value to our country. We don’t need any more fast-tracked residency visas for convicted criminals.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is a Member of Parliament on National List and the Party’s Spokesperson for Internal Affairs.