NZ gentle on jobless migrants
4:00AM Friday Sep 04, 2009
By Lincoln Tan

Migrant workers have a harder time overseas than in New Zealand, says the Immigration Service.

In some countries, the recession has led to temporary workers being asked to leave and promise never to return, or a "drastic" slashing of skills on immigration shortage lists, it says.

Figures comparing the immigration policy responses of a dozen countries to the global economic crisis were released to the Herald ahead of a public meeting on the plight of unemployed temporary workers in Auckland tomorrow.

The meeting, at the Waitakere City Council chambers, will also launch a national petition calling for amnesty for migrant workers who have lost their jobs in the recession, and discuss ways to avoid the repatriation of those who moved to New Zealand on the work-to-residence permits.

The forum organiser, migrant worker advocacy group Migrant Action Trust, has repeatedly criticised Immigration NZ's "Kiwi-first" work policy and its treatment of temporary migrants, but the agency's head, Andrew Annakin, said New Zealand's policy response was "generally more moderate" than that of other countries.

More here.