Andrew Dickens: If I Were Immigration Minister

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Jul 2021, 3:00PM
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi.  (Photo / NZ Herald)
Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Andrew Dickens: If I Were Immigration Minister

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Jul 2021, 3:00PM

Sometimes I wonder how we have become the architects of so many bad administrative decisions. 

This is the story of British GP Ann Solomon which featured in the Sunday Star Times this weekend 

At the beginning of the pandemic New Zealand made some border exemptions to fill critical worker shortages 

Ann Solomon responded and has been living and working in New Zealand with her family since last August. 

But the temporary visa is running out and Ann Solomon’s family’s future hangs in the air. One of her children is just about to leave school and without the permanent residency will not be able to legally work here. 

Ann Solomon is not just a doctor, she’s also a woman and she’s living in Foxton. As a female rural GP she is in very high demand and is a very rare breed. She is not someone we can afford to lose. 

She’s not alone; there are 1129 other similar cases, many dating back to the Key Government. People who have made the effort, brought skills to the country, settled themselves and now facing an immigration reset that says thank you very much but there’s no place for you here. 

They’re in limbo because of the immigration reset and the very real chance that their application for permanent residency will be turned down. 

This is madness. These people are here, happy, housed and already vital to our economy.  Just let them stay.  

Ann Solomon’s case was in the paper yesterday. If I was the Immigration Minister, I would have come into the office today and said ‘get that woman a visa and get it now’. In fact I’d probably offer an amnesty for all since we can’t do without them and we’re not accepting any new immigrants in the near future.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi received advice about this in April. It’s nearly August and nothing. I wonder if Kris has too many portfolios to get anything meaningful done. 

It’s also not good enough to claim its covid’s fault, because it’s not. With no immigrants since last March there must be plenty of hands available to do the work. 

But also remember this is a government that came into power 4 years ago promising a wholesale cut in immigration so they might just be bloody mindedly committed to a short sighted policy 

This is analysis paralysis and a lack of direction and politically correct posturing. 

Give it up and give these new, New Zealanders some respect.