“The number coming in is spiralling thanks to ‘incentives’ being offered beyond the visa rules,” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. “This is immigration through the back door.”
“The National government’s softening of restrictions, by allowing foreign students to work, is pushing numbers to unacceptable levels.
“At the same time, students are being ‘sold’ the student visa as a pathway to permanent residency.
“We 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. It’s not the quality of our education that is being exported it is our citizenship.
“The body representing 14 education companies, the Independent Tertiary Institution, admits the incentives are right – ability to work and to ‘potentially qualify for residency’.
“Why should foreign students be allowed to work at all? Our so-called Export Education industry was supposed to bring in much-needed overseas money paying for training here, but now students can pay with New Zealand dollars earned here.
“We can look around and see that overseas students are behind the counters in our supermarkets and working in service stations.
“Kiwi workers now face more unfair competition for jobs, which are not in abundance. The official unemployment rate is 140,000 and about a quarter of young Māori and Pasifika do not have a job.
“Student visas should not be used to flood the job market, drive down wages and undermine conditions and increase the already record number of permanent immigrants.”
Source: New Zealand First Party