Shane Jones upset the Indian community when he told disgruntled Kiwi-Indians to “catch the next flight home” if they don’t like New Zealand’s immigration policies. Howls of rage from migrants were accompanied by positive stories about the contributions Indian migrants make. Gaurav Sharma describes what he and his wife have done since they emigrated here from India five years ago.

“I have launched two multicultural newspapers here, material emblems of my belief in journalism for diversity. Meanwhile my wife, until recently a scientist for a Crown entity, has launched an app to help children with autism spectrum disorder learn social interaction skills.”

The Spinoff

Immigration NZ clearly made the right decision allowing Gaurav and his wife to settle here, but not every migrant has notable aspirations. Of course, none of the less deserving will stick their hands up and admit they got into NZ using a sham marriage and nor will we hear from prospective migrants seeking to game the system.

Historically, for every migrant accepted into New Zealand there is at least one prospective migrant refused entry, or 50%, but more recently, the rejection rate has jumped up to over 80% of prospective migrants using the marriage criteria for entry.

By the end of August just 10 out of 87 arranged marriages this year were given permission to co-habit here once the knot was tied, in the previous four years almost half the applications were approved.

The system has been abused in the past, by scurrilous immigration consultants seeking to get clients residency here. There have also been reports of drug-addicted Indian men being married off to educated women who have their education here paid for by the son’s grateful parents.”

A Newspaper

This is not a race or religious issue, this is a loophole for exploitation by opportunists of any race or religion practicing arranged marriages in India, China and Japan and within mainly the Muslim and Hindu religions. Putting cultural or religious practice under the microscope does not make our immigration department “racist”.

Entry into New Zealand is a privilege, not a right. That our forebears were migrants is not licence for prospective migrants. Anyone who doesn’t like the rules or disagrees with them should expect to be turned away. We have more than enough cultural clashes without adding to the mix people who fan the fires of racism.

Jones’s response at being called a racist was typical – he held firm and warned prospective migrants to watch out if they didn’t like the height of the bar because it might get higher.

The outspoken MP and Minister of Regional Economic Development said he will be pitching a policy plan to his MP colleagues this weekend which would involve “campaigning unstintingly next year on a population policy”.

“In the last five years, we have added nigh on half a million people to our population,” he told RNZ. “How many new Kiwis do we want? What talents should they bring?”

A Newspaper

An excellent question for the 2020 election. But Jones should also consider the other side of the coin which is addressing the number of people on the work and income benefit for more that a year, which is 71%, and includes his nephs on the couch.

While we have been importing migrants to drive courier vans and delivery trucks, and work in supermarkets and the menial lower paid jobs in retail, the nephs have stayed put on the couch. Are they good people too?