Growing up in Mt Roskill in the 1960s and 70s I was dimly aware, in my own childish way, that I was not living in the most exciting place in the world.The most notable thing about the suburb was the unusually high number of conservative…
Spouses of H1B visa holders will soon be allowed to work in the United States, as the country gets ready to boost entrepreneurship in an effort to drive the US economy out of a seven-year-long recession.
The White House, in a statement, says the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will soon release new US immigration policy aimed at making “the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness. ”
As part of the immigration reforms that began last year with a draft bill, the US will authorize employment for “spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers.
The DHS is also launching Entrepreneur Pathways, an online resource center that gives immigrant entrepreneurs a way to navigate opportunities to start and grow a business in the United States.
Currently, the US issues 65,00 H1B visas, many of which are issued to Indian techies. This number is soon likely to triple to 180,000.
Many Indians are likely to benefit from the immigration rules for working and living in the United States.
Indian outsourcing companies have been lobbying to increase the 65,000 limit on U.S. companies to sponsor foreigners with at least a bachelor’s degree for a H-1B visa.
When the limit is reached, the American Citizenship and Immigration Services randomly selects visa applicants.
As many as 30% of these H1B visas are issued to Indian companies based in the United States. Hiring a local subcontractor from the US is reportedly twice as expensive as sending a techie from India.
Before anyone gets excited, read the statement again. The H1B waiver to work for spouses may not apply to all categories. It may be limited to spouses from the science, technology and research sectors.
When an H-1B visa holder quits the job, they can get their visa status changed to another another non-immigrant status, or find another employer. If either of these options are not available, the H-1B visa holder has to leave the country.
Which family members are allowed under H1B visa?
Spouse and dependent children under 21 years of age are issued H-4 visa. Under an H-4 visa, spouse and children can study in the US, but they are not permitted to work. Also, they are not allocated a social security number. However, H-4 visa holders are allowed to open bank account and obtain a driver’s license.
Alternatively, family members may apply for a non-immigrant visa – for example, the spouse may apply for an H1B visa, and children may apply for F-1 which is students’ visa.
Australia’s immigration authority has cancelled the licence of a Chinese immigration agent, following “a number of complaints about applications for protection visas”.
The Sydney-based migration agent failed in her bid to have a decision to cancel her registration overturned, with the Administrative Review Tribunal (AAT) confirming the decision by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).
The Authority found that Weiming Qian had failed to competently and diligently assist her clients and act on their instructions, manufactured or encouraged the manufacture of claims for protection visas, failed to attend with her clients at the Refugee Review Tribunal and the former Federal Magistrates Court for appointed hearings and prepared applications for judicial review when not qualified.
A migration agent has a duty to act in the lawful interests of a client and this agent’s conduct was clearly not in her clients’ interests, a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said.
“She deliberately undermined the protection visa programme at every stage, the lodgement of applications for visa processing and review proceedings before the Refugee Review Tribunal and the courts.”
The AAT found the scale of the complaints indicated entrenched poor practice and found the decision made by the OMARA to cancel Ms Qian’s registration as a migration agent was correct, as was the decision that she could not be re-registered for five years.
“Only people who are registered with the OMARA are permitted to give immigration assistance,” the spokesman said.
“Registered agents must meet a code of conduct and be a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance.”
There are more than 5000 registered migration agents in Australia and overseas who can provide immigration assistance. People wishing to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can go to the Authority’s website, www.mara.gov.au.
Do you believe you could make a difference to New Zealand communities? The Office of Ethnic Affairs in New Zealand is urging ethnic people to nominate themselves to be considered for appointment to government boards, committees and advisory groups, including those of Crown companies.
The positions give an opportunity to contribute to the prosperity and strength of New Zealand’s economy and communities.
The OEA is consulted by agencies that support the Government’s appointment of candidates to more than 400 state sector boards and committees. The OEA provides an avenue through which ethnic people can register their interest and availability to take up board appointments.
Minister Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is requesting people from the Indian communities to express their interest to be considered for these roles on the boards.
“As the face and heart of New Zealand becomes more diverse, it’s crucial that leaders in ethnic communities play a more active role shaping decision-making,” says Kanwaljit.
“It’s important every New Zealander feels inspired and has the opportunity to step into leadership roles in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, on boards and in broader decision making authorities,” says the New Delhi-born minister.
“This is one of the reasons I aspired to become a Member of Parliament. As a country we are extremely proud of our diversity and it’s increasingly seen as a competitive advantage on so many levels particularly when it comes to business.
“That’s why we’re working to make sure that we create the best culture and environment possible for this exchange of knowledge and skills.
“The 2014 series of EthnicA conferences, which began last weekend, help do just this; stressing the importance of diverse leadership for New Zealand’s success.
“Migrant businesses are a wealth of international knowledge for other New Zealand businesses. Likewise migrant businesses are able to learn and feed off New Zealand businesses that have an institutional understanding of operating in our domestic environment.
“These conferences are part of a fantastic pool of programmes organised by the Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) to tap into New Zealand’s ethnic diversity and find new avenues to develop and strengthen leadership across the board.
“At the event a range of speakers told experiences operating ‘in two worlds’ because to be successful we have to learn to navigate and balance both the demands of our working life, with the demands of our home or community life.”
Who could apply to be considered for the board roles
In order to be considered for board roles, you need to display at least one of the following characteristics:
have held a position on a board or committee at any level
have been elected to a board or council position
have a leadership role in a corporate environment, professional association or community group
are a director of a business
have good networks/connections within your community or a particular sector
have corporate, legal, accounting or financial expertise or experience
Emigration is driven not only by opportunities, but also by inequalities. The OECD has issued alarming advice for governments to take “urgent action to tackle rising inequality and social divisions”. New Zealand has left these issues…
Just five years ago, the Government relaxed the immigration conditions placed on wealthy investors. Already, however, it is being lobbied to ease the rules even further. A group called the Construction Development Alliance wants to…
“Two ends of a book’, is how New Zealand’s Minister of Internal Affairs described the ties between India and New Zealand.
Minister Peter Dunne, while was speaking at India New Zealand Business Council’s seminar, ‘Business Beyond Barriers’, reiterated the need for increased economic, cultural and sporting ties between the two countries.
The India New Zealand Business Council held its second chapter of a series of seminars – ‘Business Beyond Barriers’, on 26 March. H.E. Mr. Ravi Thapar (Indian High Commissioner to NZ).
The Council Chair Sunil Kaushal shared how the members have been continuing to expand their business ventures into India without an FTA being signed between both the countries.
“(An) FTA is just one of the tools to increased trade and not the only tool,” said Sunil, stressing that more focus should be towards moving on with trade to be done between businesses in New Zealand and India.
Peter said it was important for New Zealand to recognise the potential of the Indian economy and work to have closer ties.
Ravi Thapar, India’s new High Commissioner to New Zealand, took charge in January and is since meeting crucial people and organisations that can make a difference to the bilateral relations.
Ravi shared insights about various fields that India-New Zealand can collaborate in. “We should work with the positives of both sides, like taking New Zealand’s IP and using India’s market footprint,” said Ravi, while emphasizing that India’s market footprint is huge and creates great potential for New Zealand companies to work with.
Taxation in the vast Indian market can be very complicated and can sometimes be a daunting task, said Greg Thompson, National Director, Tax at Grant Thornton NZ Ltd.
Earlier the council members also called upon the Indian High Commissioner at his office in Wellington and discussed collaborative areas between both the countries. Aviation, Education, IT, Agri were some of the sectors that were discussed including the need for a direct or code share flight between both the countries which will enhance tourism and trade.
The United Nations experts have appealed to all countries to sign up to a landmark treaty on the rights of migrant workers that came into force some 10 years ago.
Forty-seven countries have ratified the treaty but that number is far too low given the abuse and exploitation that migrant workers continue to suffer, says Francisco Carrion Mena, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families.
“It is also far too low given the contribution migrant workers make to both their home and host countries,”
The International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (ICRMW) took 23 years to come into force, the longest of any of the 10 core international human rights instruments, and has registered the slowest rate of ratification.
No major developed countries that are destinations for migrant workers, including the US, EU member states and Gulf countries, have ratified it, even though it reflects rights set out in the other core human rights treaties.
“The treaty doesn’t create new rights or establish additional ones for migrant workers. What it does do is give specific form to standards that protect all human beings so that they are meaningful within the context of migration,” says Francisco.
The Committee’s renewed call to all states to join the treaty came during discussions in Geneva on Monday on protecting migrant workers from exploitation.
More than 200 million people worldwide are international migrants; of these some 30 million are estimated to be irregular migrants. According to the International Labour Organisation, almost 21 million people are trapped in forced labour.
“The Convention is the best strategy to prevent abuses and to address the vulnerability that migrant workers face. That’s why we urge all States to consider signing and ratifying the Convention,” says Francisco.
The CMW, composed of 14 independent human rights experts, oversees implementation of the Convention by States parties. Many of the 47 States parties are not only nations of origin but now also transit and destination countries given the changing patterns of migration.
As skills shortages increasingly impact on New Zealand businesses, employers are looking for new ways to find great people to meet their needs.
Many are now looking to newcomers and returning Kiwis who bring the powerful combination of international work experience, qualifications and experience gained from working offshore, say New Zealand Chambers of Commerce.
Recognising demand, the Chambers are promoting the New Kiwis website which connects employers and recruiters to a rich source of new and returning Kiwis to help fill these skills gaps.
New Kiwis is more than just a “skills matching” database which employers can use autonomously, say the Chambers.
New Kiwis is a national employment initiative which is funded by Immigration New Zealand and managed by Auckland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with NZ Chambers of Commerce.
“The employer also has the option of advertising or just searching, access to resources that will assist them in supporting their new recruits understand New Zealand workplace norms and they have access to me, I can help with every step of the way,” New Kiwis Liaison for the Chambers of Commerce Cheng Goh says.
David Litherland, Talent Manager at First Assistance, used the Chamber services to find a Mandarin speaking medical assistance assessor.
“We decided to go to the experts. We cast the recruitment net wide and utilised the New Kiwis database of candidates with the skills we specifically required – hiring two people initially.
“What appealed was that the New Kiwis services help get new migrants work ready from a New Zealand workplace perspective.” says David.
New Zealand is the most socially advanced nation in the world according to a global index published by US-based nonprofit, the Social Progress Imperative, and released at the 2014 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.
New Zealand topped the rankings across a wide range of measures–according to the Social Progress Index 2014 which ranks 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance. The result was described as “exceptional” by Michael Green, Executive Directive of the Social Progress Imperative.
Social progress is defined as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens to improve their lives, and create the conditions for individuals and communities to meet their full potential.
Measuring a country’s social progress outcomes the Index identifies a number of areas in which New Zealand is performing strongly compared to countries with a comparable GDP per capita, including on ‘Personal Rights’, ‘Water and Sanitation’ and ‘Personal Freedom and Choice’.
Until now, the assumption has been that there is a direct relationship between economic growth and wellbeing, says Professor Michael E. Porter.
“However, the Social Progress Index finds that all economic growth is not equal. While higher GDP per capita is correlated with social progress, the connection is far from automatic. For similar levels of GDP, we find that some countries, like New Zealand, achieve much higher levels of social progress than others.”
It’s some accolade that across so many measures New Zealand outperforms countries like the United States, UK and Australia, says
Michael Green, Executive Director of the Social Progress Imperative.
“It’s particularly on the measure of ‘Opportunity’ that New Zealand performs strongly thanks to it’s top global rankings on ‘Personal Rights’ and ‘Personal Freedom and Choice’.”
The Social Progress Imperative created the Social Progress Index working in collaboration with scholars from the Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as international organizations in social entrepreneurship, business and philanthropy led by the Skoll Foundation and Fundacion Avina as well as Cisco, Compartamos Banco, Deloitte Global and its member firms (Deloitte).
The result is particularly impressive in the context of New Zealand’s relative economic weakness compared to countries that finished much lower on the Index. New Zealand enjoys the world’s 25th highest GDP per capita of $25,857, finishing ahead of the United States in 16th ranking with a per capita GDP of over $45,000*; the UK in 13th with a per capita GDP of over $32,500*; and Australia in 10th with a per capita GDP of $34,669*.
Key global highlights:
The top five countries in order of ranking are: New Zealand, Switzerland, Netherlands, Iceland, and Norway.
Canada is the best performing G8 country.
Brazil is the top of the BRICS, followed by South Africa, Russia, China and India. Apart from Brazil, the BRICS are all significant under-performers on social progress, suggesting that, for China and India in particular, rapid economic growth is not yet being converted into better lives for their citizens.
Key New Zealand findings:
Of the 54 indicators measured within each country to make up the overall Index ranking, New Zealand scores top spot in no less than 20, across a wide variety of different measures. These include tying in first place globally on measures of homicide (less than 2 per 100,000 people); levels of corruption and religious tolerance.
New Zealand scores strongly on the ‘Access to Basic Knowledge’ component finishing 2nd globally. Included in this is secondary school enrollment on which New Zealand scores top.
New Zealand also finishes top ranked on ‘Personal Freedom and Choice’, owing to impressive results on religious freedoms and freedom over life choices.
On ‘Tolerance and Inclusion’ New Zealand scores fourth globally, thanks partly to its high tolerance for immigrants and religious tolerance.
On the ‘Access to Information and Communications’ measure New Zealand scores 7th globally, which is a relatively strong result compared to countries of a similar GDP. The result owes partly to an exceptionally high rate of mobile telephone subscriptions (more than 110 for every 100 people) as well as ranking number one globally for press freedoms.
According to the researchers New Zealand doesn’t have any specific weaknesses. However, the Social Progress Index 2014 highlights obesity as a challenge to ‘Health and Wellness’ – more than one in four New Zealanders are obese.
Also, one of New Zealand’s weaker score is on ‘Nutrition and Basic Medical Care’ (28th), a result partly of its 36th place ranking on the measure of maternal mortality (15 deaths per 100,000 live births). The top ranking country on this measure is Estonia with just two deaths per 100,000 births. Similarly, New Zealand’s child mortality rate of 5.7 deaths per 1000 live births is more than double Iceland who ranked in first place with just 2 deaths per 1000 live births.
Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, said: “Making social progress a true imperative means putting the progress of humanity and our wellbeing on an equal footing with GDP. The Social Progress Index prioritizes and measures what matters, capturing data that ranges from basic needs such as health to the building blocks and guarantees of opportunity such as education and rights.
A London-based Kiwi, whose controversial Maori cultural advice to British newspapers was branded an “infantile prank” in his home-country, is reportedly “quite upset” his comments were misconstrued.Tredegar Hall was quoted in…
Almost all (93 percent) people polled in the survey thought it was valuable to learn another language. Of those, 64 percent thought Chinese would be valuable to learn, followed by Japanese (31 percent) and Spanish (22 percent).
People felt it was worthwhile to learn Chinese because of New Zealand’s trade links, the fact it is a widely spoken language, and because they felt it would enable New Zealanders to understand Chinese people more easily.
The survey reveals a gap between the languages considered the most valuable to learn and those widely taught in New Zealand schools. Chinese is the fifth most commonly studied language in New Zealand secondary schools.
Foreign language learning in New Zealand secondary schools (2012)
French – 22,379
Japanese – 12,473
Spanish – 11,372
German – 4,663
Chinese – 2,849
Indonesian – 0
Korean – 0
The survey shows a clear discrepancy between those who think Chinese is important to learn, and those who are actually learning it, says Asia New Zealand Foundation director of research Dr Andrew Butcher.
“It also reveals a gap between New Zealanders’ recognition of the importance of Asia to New Zealand’s future, and their confidence in interacting with the region.”
Four out of five people (80 percent) polled in the 2013 survey believed Asia was important to New Zealand, up from 77 percent in 2012. But two-thirds said they knew only a little or almost nothing about the region.
The Foundation had been carrying out regular research since 1997 to measure perceptions of the peoples and countries of Asia.
This latest survey shows an increased desire among New Zealanders to learn more about the cultures, traditions and languages of Asia, says Asia New Zealand Foundation chairman Philip Burdon.
“This cultural understanding is going to be increasingly important if New Zealand is to have constructive long-term relationships with Asian countries.”
New Zealanders surveyed want more Asian investment in New Zealand, with ownership and control retained by Kiwis.
Most New Zealanders (75 percent) agreed it was good for the New Zealand economy to have Asian companies investing in New Zealand businesses – an increase of five percentage points since last year.
However, those interviewed in a follow-up forum felt that ownership and control of assets and organisations should remain in New Zealand.
The survey also found that nationally, New Zealanders were more likely to disagree (43 percent) that rising house prices were due to Asian people buying properties. But the opposite was true in Auckland – Aucklanders were more likely to agree (46 percent) that Asian people were responsible for rising house prices.
Another report by the Royal Society of New Zealand – Languages in Aotearoa New Zealand – highlights New Zealand’s “superdiversity”, with more than 160 languages spoken.
But the report also reveals the need for a coordinated approach to language learning and teaching.
Asia New Zealand Foundation executive director John McKinnon says it is vital for New Zealand’s economic, cultural, and political interests that Asian languages are more widely taught in New Zealand.
“Parents need to see to that having their children learn Asian languages will improve their future prospects.”
Other countries are already developing policies to boost the availability of Asian languages in schools, he says. The Australian Government’s 2012 Australia in the Asian Century white paper outlined requirements for every school to teach a priority Asian language.
“Even countries outside the Asia-Pacific are looking at Asian languages,” John says. “The Swedish government has asked its National Education Agency to develop a new curriculum for Chinese in its schools.
“Countries across the world are now investing in Asian languages. This is a wake-up call for New Zealand.”
The Royal Society’s paper points out that research has shown learning another language at school improves performance right across the curriculum.
The number of New Zealand children learning Chinese has grown steadily in the past decade, but only a minority of schools offer the language, says John.
Meanwhile, other key Asian languages are barely taught in New Zealand at all.
Of particular concern is Indonesian, says John. Indonesia is New Zealand’s nearest Asian neighbour, the world’s fourth most populous country, and has a rapidly growing economy.
“But Ministry of Education statistics show no New Zealand secondary students were studying Indonesian last year.”
John, who learnt Chinese while working as a diplomat, says improved access to Asian languages does not have to come at the expense of European languages. The Asia New Zealand Foundation would like to see all New Zealand children having access to choices for foreign languages, as well as te reo Māori.
However, shortage of teachers is a major issue in teaching Asian languages in New Zealand. “Obviously this is not going to happen immediately, but we need to take a medium-term approach and invest in the future of our children.”
According to the ministry of education, New Zealand’s two other official languages (other than English) – te reo Māori and New Zealand sign language – are included in curriculum, along with Chinese, Cook Islands Māori, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Samoan, Spanish, Tokelauan, Tongan and ‘Vagahau Niue (Niuean).
A new business visa will encourage migrants to set up high-quality businesses and create new jobs, according to Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.
“Starting today, the new Entrepreneur Work Visa will help New Zealand attract talented, well-connected business people to invest and grow businesses in New Zealand,” Mr Woodhouse says.
For Fraud Prevention Month 2014, CIC has developed a new video which urges newcomers to avoid becoming the victim of a “disappearing act” and explains where they can obtain information on immigration representatives that are authorized to deal with the Government of Canada.
Unscrupulous and unauthorized representatives weaken Canada’s immigration system, cost taxpayers money, and slow down the processing of valid applications. Under Canadian law, only authorized immigration representatives can charge a fee to help someone apply for a visa to come to Canada. If a newcomer uses an unauthorized representative, their application may be refused and they could risk becoming victims of fraud.
To learn more about choosing and using a representative, visit CIC’s website.
Of nearly 6,500 permanent residents who have been flagged as being linked to major investigations, 1,894 people have withdrawn or abandoned their citizenship applications – a sign of success with our immigration fraud deterrence measures.
Regulations, which came into force on June 30, 2011, impose penalties on unauthorized representatives who provide, or offer to provide, advice or representation for a fee at any stage of an immigration application or proceeding. If the court finds a person guilty, the following penalties would apply:
on summary conviction, the person is subject to a fine of up to $20,000, or up to six months imprisonment, or both;
on conviction on indictment, they are subject to a fine of up to $100,000 or up to two years imprisonment, or both.
Bill C-24 reinforces the value of citizenship by cracking down on fraud and ensuring Canadian citizenship is only offered to those who play by the rules. Proposed measures include:
stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or five years in prison);
expanding the grounds to bar an application for citizenship to include foreign criminality which will help improve program integrity; and
making it an offence for unauthorized individuals to knowingly represent or advise a person on a citizenship application or hearing for a fee.
“Fraud is a very serious issue in our immigration system. Our government is taking action to combat fraud by introducing specific measures in the Strengthening Citizenship Act that will address misrepresentation in the citizenship system. Fraud Prevention Month reminds newcomers of the importance of using authorized immigration representatives and provides information to newcomers so that they do not become victims of fraud.”
“Unauthorized representatives are not trained or regulated, and take money for services they cannot provide, which often leads to the refusal of applications that might otherwise be approved. Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants are highly trained and effectively regulated, so their clients can be sure that they are getting the best advice and representation possible.”
“As the regulators of the legal profession Canada’s law societies ensure that lawyers, Quebec notaries and Ontario paralegals meet high standards of competence and professional conduct. It is vital that anyone thinking of using an immigration representative check that they are authorized. Verifying whether a lawyer, Quebec notary or Ontario paralegal is licensed and in good standing is easy. The information is publicly available through the on-line directories of the law societies or by calling the law society directly.”
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is welcoming two reports out today showing that net migration is continuing to increase as fewer people leave New Zealand and more people are permanently migrating.
The 13th annual Migration Trends and Outlook report confirms that 7900 more people moved to New Zealand in 2012/13 than left for overseas – reversing the situation of a year earlier when there was a net migration loss of 3200.
The report is predicting that permanent and long-term net migration will exceed 30,000 from the middle of this year as the economy continues to grow.
“This Government has worked hard to ensure that we have the right policies in place to make New Zealand an attractive place to visit, work and live,” Mr Woodhouse says.
“With an economy that grew 3.5 per cent in the year to September 2013, and that the OECD predicts will grow at 3.6 per cent this year, New Zealand is well placed to perform well in the global competition for investment and talent.
“These figures suggest that our policies are working with more New Zealanders choosing to stay and work in New Zealand, more returning home, and more immigrants choosing to come here and take advantage of everything we have to offer.”
The total number of people approved for temporary work visas in 2012/13 was 144,978, a rise of five per cent on the previous year with increases across most visa categories.
There was a two per cent increase in the number of people admitted under the Essential Skills Policy. This was the first annual rise in Essential Skills workers since the start of the global economic slowdown.
“New Zealand’s economic activity is expected to increase over the next three years and generate strong employment growth,” Mr Woodhouse says.
“We’re expecting that the number of Essential Skills workers will continue to rise as the Canterbury rebuild ramps up.”
The Migration Trends Key Indicators report – December 2013, which is also published today, shows that is already happening with a 19 per cent increase in the number of approved Essential Skills workers between July and December last year compared with the same period in 2012. There was an increase of 43 per cent in the Canterbury region.
Numbers were up in all the main work visa categories with a seven per cent increase in the number of people approved a temporary work visa. The number of international students approved to study in New Zealand went up 10 per cent.
“It’s heartening that with the intense global competition for international students that there has been an increase in the number coming to New Zealand.”
Resident visa numbers in the six months to December 2013 were also up from the same period in the previous year while the number of visitor arrivals increased eight per cent from the same period in the previous year.
China has become the top source country for visitor arrivals after Australia following significant growth in recent years. The growth from China is compensating for the lower numbers from traditional long-haul destinations such as the United Kingdom.
Following crime incidents targeting Indians in New Zealand, community leaders Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Claudette Hauiti are organising a walk on 7 March to “Claim Back Safe Streets”.
The walk for “safer communities” will be followed by an event behind Auckland’s Papatoetoe Library to raise awareness.
Papatoetoe witnessed a vicious attack earlier in January, when Praveet Kaur was savagely assaulted in daylight by a stranger as she walked down a street in her neighbourhood.
She was not far from her home while a group of 15 neighbours watched as she was brutally punched in the head and face by the attacker.
The only help the watchers offered was dialling 111. Her repeated plea for help fell on deaf ears. Praveet fractured her nose and eye socket, and ended up with bruised eyes and swollen hands.
In the wee hours of a Saturday in November last year, 25-year-old Tarun Asthana was mercilessly beaten outside McDonald’s in downtown Auckland – apparently because he complimented a young woman. The trainee teacher was punched so hard by Grenville David McFarland, a navy sailor, that Tarun’s head hit the pavement. Tarun succumbed to fatal injuries. Grenville has been allowed to remain on duty.
New Zealand’s political parties are being urged to listen to migrant and ethnic communities if the parties want their votes in the upcoming general election.
The suggestions comes from New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils (known as Multicultural New Zealand), which launched its 2014 election policies at its national council meeting in Dunedin on Friday.
In the diverse communities of New Zealand, ethnic communities comprise 15 percent of the population (the 2013 census).
The election policy comprises 26 proposals covering ethnic affairs, constitutional issues, race relations, settlement support and refugees.
The federation would like to see a national multicultural policy, support for community languages and the establishment of a national ethnic peoples advisory panel.
The federation wants the Office of Ethnic Affairs to be elevated to Ministry status, alongside the Ministries of Pacific Island Affairs and Maori Development.
All government departments should be required to have an ethnic community relationship strategy to ensure their services are equally available to ethnic communities, says Priyani de Silva-Currie, the national president of Multicultural New Zealand. Of Sri Lankan descent, Priyani is a branch manager of Opus International Consultants and an expert in energy and asset management. Married with two children, Priyani replaced Tayo Agunlejika, who resigned the position last month to become the Federation’s new Executive Director.
The federation wants a review of Immigration New Zealand ‘s decision to terminate regional partnerships to provide settlement support services, and the government’s decision to downsize and transfer the Settling In programme from MSD Family and Community Services to the Office of Ethnic Affairs.
“The recommendations of the Auditor General on improving migrant settlement support services should be implemented, and settlement strategies put in place for all regions,” says Priyani.
“We want the safety of migrant and refugee women and children, particularly in relation to domestic violence, prioritised; and further measures taken to prevent the exploitation of temporary migrant workers.”
Ottawa, February 3, 2014 – Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today launched the next phase of the government’s plan to eliminate backlogs in the Parent and Grandparent program (PGP).
Ottawa, February 3, 2014 – Visitors to Canada will automatically be considered for a multiple-entry visa, starting on February 6, 2014. Multiple-entry visas allow qualified visitors to come and go from Canada for six months at a time for up to 10 years without having to reapply each time.