A one-off broad residency pathway will ensure tens of thousands of migrants who have made Aotearoa New Zealand their home can settle here and thrive into the future.
“Migrants deserve to have their dignity and humanity honoured by our immigration system,” says Green spokesperson for Immigration Ricardo Menéndez March.
“However, for too long many migrants have not only dealt with the pandemic, but have also faced added uncertainty and insecurity about whether they can stay and make a home here, and the stress and anxiety that creates.
“The Green Party has been working throughout the pandemic to create an immigration system that changes this.
“We were the first party to launch a comprehensive plan to fix our immigration system, which included the introduction of broad pathways to residency that the Government has announced today.
“That the Government has adopted many of our ideas shows the impact of the work we have done with our migrant communities.
“By helping change the rules, we have made sure that more migrants can thrive in Aotearoa and pursue opportunities like new careers or learning opportunities, as well as access public health services.
“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards an inclusive Aotearoa that welcomes people into its communities who bring their experiences and perspectives, as well as much-needed skills.
“However, we know there is still work to be done. For a start, we need to remove the ableist health requirements that prevents disabled people from obtaining residency.
“Additionally, the Government needs to urgently set up a planning range for the residency programme, and resource INZ accordingly to stop current and future visa processing backlogs.
“We will also continue to push for an amnesty for people who have overstayed their visas, consistent with what has been proposed by the Pacific Leadership Forum’s.
“We will also keep campaigning to ensure that low-income migrants have realistic pathways to residency. People who earn below the median wage are often in exploitative industries such as hospitality and with visa conditions that attach them to single employers, and should not be left out of the one-off residency programme.”