In our latest issue (Digital Edition, March 1, 2021), we have reflected upon the callous attitude of some people resulting in Auckland’s move to Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2. From what we have gathered, those awaiting Covid-19 test results, breached the Health Regulation Act and the advice of the government to isolate themselves. Instead, they visited many places, creating panic among almost all New Zealanders.
There have been calls for harsh punishment to visit upon the offenders including naming and shaming them. The government may be forced to get tough if such indifference continues.
Our Lead Story however is immigration and the possible attitude change.
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has suggested that employers and New Zealanders in general should depend less on migrant labour and encourage employment of our own people. National Party Leader Judith Collins has also said that New Zealand should carefully consider bringing in more people to work when the borders reopen.
While immigration has been a subject of heated debate over the years, the advent of Covid-19 and its Variants is slowing the perception of employers on the need to employ more migrant workers. In fact, they are beginning to adjust to dependence on available talent in the country.
Mr Faafoi and Ms Collins say that employers must come to terms with the changed realities of the economy.
Thousands of people on temporary visas (mostly work permits) are stranded overseas for the past year, especially since the closure of our borders. Many of them are suffering since they have financial obligations here- such as rents, car loans and other responsibilities.
Indian Newslink has been advocating for their speedy return to New Zealand but several factors are hindering that process, the most important of which is the stability of their employment and lack of adequate quarantine facilities.
It is not known if those stranded- understandably a large number of them from India- will be reemployed by their former employers who are suffering the adverse effects of economic downturn and the lockdown closures. Small businesses, who constitute more than 90% of the commercial sector, are either laying off staff or are not likely to hire new people in the next two or more years. The increase in minimum wage to $20 per hour from April 1, 2021 will be an additional deterrent to hire more staff.
Please read the story and let us know your thoughts to start a health discussion if possible.
Greetings from the Indian Newslink Team
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