Immigration could go through a cleansing process under National

Spotlight on Erica Stanford and other issues in our February 15, 2022, Digital Edition

 

Venkat Raman
Auckland, February 16, 2022

National Party Immigration and Education Spokesperson Erica Stanford said that her heart went out to thousands of migrant workers who are stranded overseas (about 790 of them in India) for the past almost two years and accused the Labour government of ineffective management. “The Minister is saying that people whose visas have expired should reapply. While other countries such as Canada and Australia have extended visas, New Zealand has done nothing. It is still unclear as to when the stranded migrants will be allowed to come back. My concern is that by the time we come into government over the next 18 months or so, will be too late to do anything,” she said.

Ms Stanford was speaking at the ‘Indians Living in Auckland Facebook Group’ organised jointly with Indian Newslink on February 12, 2022.

Modernising the System

The National Party will modernise the immigration system and make it more responsive to the needs of the country if elected to govern in the 2023 general election but she was not sure if the issue of stranded migrants offshore can be effectively addressed.

Her concern is that the current government is too involved in clearing the estimated 165,000 applications coming under its ambitious, one-off, ‘Pathway to Residency Programme’ in itself will be a challenge.

“Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is already far too behind in processing the applications. My concern is that it does not have the capacity. Every single resource available has been put on the ‘Residency 21 Programme,’ and officials do not have time to do anything else,” she said.

According to Ms Stanford, the immigration system will eventually be changed to make it more responsive to the needs of the economy and the changes going on elsewhere in the world.

“The Culturally-Arranged Marriage Visas for instance is a problem created by INZ. It does not work and the decline rate is huge. The traditional understanding of arranged marriages has undergone significant changes. We must upgrade and modernise our system,” she said.

Phil Goff announces his exit from politics

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has announced his decision to quit politics. Although he has ruled out taking up a diplomatic post in Washington DC, we believe that he will still remain active in public life. For, his expertise and experience are needed on the larger world stage.

We are sure that an announcement to this effect will ensue in due course.

Mr Goff has been a friend of Indian Newslink since the newspaper was established on November 15, 1999. He has supported us with his regular Columns and articles and has attended almost all events organised by the publication and has been a lively participant at our Business Awards and Lecture series.

We look forward to working with him in the next stage of his career.

We have stories in our regular departments-Current Affairs, Education, Fiji, Business, Opinion, Community, Entertainment and Sports in our latest (February 15, 2022) Digital Edition. Please read and share with your friends.

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