Migrants highlight dilemma

Members of Queenstown’s migrant community will come together for a candlelight vigil on the resort’s waterfront today to assert their right to stay in New Zealand.

Organiser Ryann Lourenco said he expected at least 75 people, including some from Southland, to gather on Marine Parade at 5.30pm.

The vigil was one of several throughout the country being organised by the Federation of Aotearoa Migrants to take place at the same time.

"What we are asking for is the right to stay permanently in New Zealand, and to bring the families of those migrant workers who are separated," Mr Lourenco said.

Many highly skilled migrants came to New Zealand last year, including doctors, nurses and engineers, in the expectation their families would be able to join them a few months later, "but it never happened".

His personal opinion was the Government had used Covid-19 as a partial excuse for not allowing the families into the country.

The vigil is one of six being held throughout the country.

The federation will also holding a protest outside Parliament tomorrow, just before a general debate on immigration.


Why would you want to stay? I am a migrant who moved here over 10 years ago. The biggest mistake we ever made. A country filled with nepotism. The least qualified fill the ranks of leadership throughout the country as a whole. Highly educated and qualified migrants can't get jobs because Kiwis hire Kiwis first. The country is in shambles because of it. It's OK to hire migrant doctors, nurses and health care providers but keep them out of the business sector or government. Again, why would you want to stay? New Zealand has all the problems every other country does. Nepotism and racism being problems more prevalent here. I've been told numerous times to "go home" if I don't like it here. That's what we intend to do. Close our business and take our money back to the Middle East. I'd rather face despots and terrorists than live in a state of perpetual nepotism.

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