Auckland, October 26, 2017
Member of the Migrant Workers Association and students will be present at 3 pm a rally on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at the Unitarian Church located at 1A Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland.
The rally will request the new government to allow the Indian students who had been forced to leave by the previous government.
A group of these students had sought sanctuary at the church earlier this year to protest against their deportations before going home.
These students had been accused by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) of submitting fraudulent financial documents as part of their student visa application.
However, unscrupulous offshore ‘education/immigration agents’ were responsible for the fraud and victimisation of these students. These agents have been let off scot-free while the students have been punished for something they have not done.
At the time, the Labour party was supportive and promised to conduct a full investigation into the unfair deportations when in government. Winston Peters was also against the deportations and in favour of allowing the students to remain in New Zealand while their cases were investigated. However, the National-led government deported the students without a proper investigation.
Migrant workers exploited
Generally, migrants in New Zealand have had a rough deal at the hands of the previous National government in the last nine years. Exploitation of migrant workers is rife in many workplaces. A week doesn’t go by when the media doesn’t report news of migrant exploitation in the form of unpaid wages, withheld entitlements of annual leave, sick leave, missed breaks, verbal and physical abuse and threats of deportation.
The previous government’s lack of will to genuinely fix this issue has led to a racist and xenophobic narrative causing a deepening division between workers of New Zealand.
Allowing migrant workers to be exploited not only hurts them but it also hurts Kiwi workers. The exploitation drives wages and working conditions down for all workers and not just migrant workers.
We call upon the newly formed Labour and NZ First government to stamp out exploitation and to enforce better wages, better working conditions for migrant workers because migrant lives matter.