New Zealand First says Kiwi employers and new immigrant employers are exploiting thousands of Indian â€˜studentsâ€™ flooding into New Zealand.
â€œThey are too afraid to speak out as their purpose in migrating to New Zealand is to gain permanent residence. Study is just a pathway they can use,â€ says Leader Winston Peters.
National has been in denial but Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse admitted on Radio Live today that Indian students are coming to New Zealand with the intention of staying permanently.
â€œNumbers have soared since the National government softened restrictions allowing foreign students to work, pushing numbers to unacceptable levels.
â€œWe have 93,000 overseas students, a rise of 12 per cent in the past year. The number of Indian students has risen 60 per cent. Itâ€™s not the quality of our education that is being exported it is our soft access to citizenship.
â€œThe government did not do a proper analysis before allowing foreign students to work and now there is a mess to clean up,â€ says Peters.
â€œIndian students are taking over low skilled jobs in service stations, supermarkets and horticulture. They are being exploited and ripped off with low wages, willing to accept any working conditions,â€ says New Zealand First Ethic Affairs Spokesperson Mahesh Bindra.
â€œAn Indian restaurant chain has just been fined for the second time in two weeks for exploiting student workers, some receiving as little as $4 an hour in 2013.
â€œThe so-called export education industry is nothing of the sort. It was supposed to bring in much-needed overseas money, but now students can pay with New Zealand dollars earned here.
â€œStudent visas are being used to flood the job market, drive down wages and undermine working conditions, as well as increase the already record number of permanent immigrants,â€ says Bindra.