Greens call for amnesty programme in open letter to immigration minister

The Green Party is calling on the Government to create a broad amnesty programme for people who overstay their visa, and for temporary visa holders to be granted residency in an open letter to the Minister for Immigration.

Green Party spokesperson for Immigration Ricardo Menéndez March and spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Teanau Tuiono launched the open letter today at an event attended by Pasifika and migrant community advocates, including members of the Polynesian Panthers movement.

The open letter, addressed to Minister Kris Faafoi, lays out the Green Party’s vision and plan for how to start fixing the broken immigration system.

“Migrant communities are flourishing in Aotearoa, as people come from around the world to create a good life for them and their families,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

“All migrants deserve to have their dignity, rights, and humanity honoured by Immigration NZ and our Government. But in Aotearoa New Zealand, we have an immigration system that discriminates and separates, treating migrant workers as cheap labour and second class citizens.

“Migrant communities are an important part of the tapestry of Aotearoa. Migrant workers played a key role in our response to COVID-19 and we have an opportunity to ensure they have the ability to fully participate in society by granting them residency,” Ricardo says.

Teanau Tuiono, who called for the Government to apologise for the Dawn Raids, says this is why the Government must create a pathway towards residency for people who overstay.

“The Dawn Raids are a shameful stain on New Zealand history, defined by racial tension and unrest as police and immigration authorities victimised Pacific Islanders they suspected of abusing the terms of their visas.

“It was a racist attack on Pacific families and communities that was fuelled and enabled by the New Zealand government.

“Migrants on temporary visa holders have no clear pathways to residency, are left dependent on dodgy employers, and are separated from their families and loved ones through rules that discriminate on wealth, nationality, and relationships,” says Teanau Tuiono.

The open letter calls for seven changes to the immigration system:

  1. Create pathways to residency
  2. Create a broad amnesty programme for people who overstay
  3. Decouple work visas from single employers
  4. Require Immigration New Zealand to stop visa processing delays
  5. Remove salary criteria for the skilled migrant category and parent reunification category visas
  6. Review partnership visas to ensure they are culturally competent
  7. Devolve resources to hapū, iwi and whānau to link between migrants and local communities

Read the full open letter here.


Latest Pacific Peoples Announcements


Pasifika mental wellbeing initiative must protect our communities: Greens

The Greens welcome $6.6 million from the Government’s $455 million programme to increase access to mental health and addiction services for our Pas...
Read More


Young Pasifika Leaders call for climate action: Greens

Green Party spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Teanau Tuiono MP, supports the demand from Pasifika communities fighting for climate action as their h...
Read More


Greens support calls for Dawn Raids apology

It has been 50 years since the Polynesian Panthers were formed, and now a call for a formal government apology for the Dawn Raids has come. 
Read More


Pasifika calls for the protection of our seas

The Green Party supports calls from around the Pacific to stop harmful fishing practices such as  bottom trawling, stop using our seas to dispose o...
Read More


A push to remove the Pasifika poverty status quo

The Green Party will push for better wages and fair pay agreements to help tackle poverty within our Pasifika Communities.
Read More


A win for Pasifika Communities to have a stable home

The Green Party welcome the Government announcement to support Pasifika peoples to become Community Housing Providers.
Read More

Latest Immigration Announcements


National doubles down on lack of care for Kiwis overseas

The Green Party is deeply disappointed but unsurprised at National resorting to the politics of division in its new border policy, showing a comple...
Read More


Green Party protects stranded Kiwis from $3000 fee for coming home

The Green Party are ensuring that New Zealanders who were overseas when COVID-19 hit will not be charged for the cost of isolation or quarantine if...
Read More

Immigration and Refugees

The Green Party welcomes people who want to make Aotearoa their home. The global refugee crisis continues to see millions of people displaced, and ...
Read More


Green Party warmly welcome Behrouz Boochani

The Green Party warmly welcomes Kurdish-Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani, who has been granted refugee status in Aotearoa.
Read More


Budget boost for refugee families a win for compassion

The Green Party welcomes funding in the budget to reunite more refugees with their families, ensuring they have the best chance at a new life in Ao...
Read More


Immigration Policy

Click here for our 2020 Election Priorities for Immigration and Refugees Immigrants make positive contributions to Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, ...
See More