The Government is allowing wealthy individuals to ‘purchase’ residency while entrenching a system that keeps low-waged workers on a precarious and temporary status, the Green Party says.
“The Government is essentially maintaining its open door policy for the super wealthy, even as it makes it harder and harder for essential workers on low wages to come to New Zealand to put down roots,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, Green Party spokesperson for immigration.
“Many people who we deemed essential during the pandemic face uncertain pathways to residency while the Government continues to prioritise investors.
“We urge Labour to put energy into reviewing the residency settings for underpaid professions such as nurses, decouple work visas from single employers and to create genuine pathways to residency for lower waged workers to create a more equitable immigration system.
“The double standards present in the current approach do not reflect the values of most New Zealanders and speak to a growing divide in our immigration system.
“While Labour is increasing the amount of money a super-rich person is required to invest in Aotearoa before they can access residency, we need far better regulations to ensure the investments are genuinely ethical.
“The Green Party is calling for an overhaul of the investor category to ensure that it is not used as a ‘residency for purchase’ by the wealthy few, and instead prioritises ethical investments and genuine contributions to our communities.
“People should not be able to purchase a residency without showing that they are committed to the wellbeing of their communities.
“At the moment a wealthy investor can get automatic access to residency without the need to invest in productive areas of the economy that, for example, would help to meet our climate targets. There are also no audits carried out to check the viability, sustainability, and desirability, and human rights compliance of the investment.
“As well as overhauling the rules for entry for the super-rich, we also recommend that a three year provisional visa be introduced for investors before residency is handed pending the results of this audit,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.