Leaving workers in limbo sends bad message

Indian workers holding valid New Zealand work visas should be allowed to return to work, say Labour MPs Darien Fenton and Rajen Prasad.


“Immigration Minister Nathan Guy must investigate the actions of the New Delhi branch of Immigration New Zealand, which appears to be wrongly barring Indian workers from returning to their jobs over here,” Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Darien Fenton says.


Reports today suggest a number of Indian workers who took extended leave from their jobs to visit family and celebrate Diwali have been prevented from returning to New Zealand.


“These workers returned to India with the approval of their New Zealand employers. But following the intervention of Immigration New Zealand’s New Delhi branch many now run the risk of losing their jobs.


“The case has been filed with the Auckland High Court this week, but Immigration New Zealand’s defence doesn’t stand to reason.


“While Immigration New Zealand claims it only wants to determine whether the extended leave period was authorised by the New Zealand employers, Labour understands no phone calls have been made to check if the leave was authorised leaving workers in limbo for over a month,” Darien Fenton said.


“Employers cannot be expected to hold positions open indefinitely, and workers, many of whom have spent thousands of dollars studying and obtaining New Zealand qualifications, are right to be concerned,” Labour’s Ethnic Affairs spokesperson Rajen Prasad says.


“This process also raises questions about the operations of Immigration New Zealand in New Delhi and sends a bad message about the way Indian workers are treated.


“These are people who have lived and worked in New Zealand for years. Immigration New Zealand is acting without any legal motivations and seemingly without any proof of wrongdoing – The Minister must clarify the situation before workers lose their jobs,” Rajen Prasad said.