The Green Party is once again calling on the Government to grant visa waivers to all Pacific countries.
“Pacific peoples should be able to travel to Aotearoa to visit their family without needing to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get a visitor visa approved,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for pacific peoples, Teanau Tuiono.
The Government has today announced improved visa conditions for officials, diplomats, and frequent business visitors travelling to New Zealand from Pacific Island Forum Countries and Kiribati.
“Today’s announcement does nothing to help the thousands of Pacific Islanders who want to visit New Zealand to connect with whānau, instead making easier visas a privilege for those with the right jobs.
“A handful of officials, diplomats, and frequent business visitors from Pacific Island Forum Countries and Kiribati may well have an easier pathway to visit Aotearoa - but for every day Pacific people wanting to see their families here, nothing has changed.
“These families will still have to deal with the same deep-rooted injustice and racism in New Zealand’s immigration system that sees Pacific peoples as a potential problem.
“The Green Party is clear that Pacific people should be able to visit their families in Aotearoa regardless of their income.
“We are once again calling on the Government to grant all Pacific countries a broad right to come to Aotearoa without needing a visa,” says Teanau Tuiono.
Green Party immigration spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March added:
“The problem with changing the rules only for frequent visitors, officials, and diplomats is that it leaves behind many members of the community who don’t have the means to travel frequently.
“If this Government really believes what it says when it talks about Aotearoa New Zealand as part of a family of Pacific nations, it needs to immediately grant visa waiver status to the Pacific, to better reflect Pacific values,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.