As Christchurch continues its recovery from the earthquake which devastated the city and cost 185 people their lives, New Zealand immigration looks set to propel the country's second largest city to its most ethnically diverse...read more.
Victims of New Zealand visa scam targeted at Tongans living illegally in the country have been urged to come forward to help prosecute the scams' perpetrators...read more.
A recent New Zealand immigration study revealed that as many as two in five residents in Auckland were born overseas, making the country's largest city one of the most multicultural cities in the world...read more.
Christchurch set to benefit from New Zealand immigration
Christchurch looks set to
prosper thanks to New
As Christchurch continues its recovery from the earthquake which devastated the city and cost 185 people their lives, New Zealand immigration looks set to propel the country's second largest city to its most ethnically diverse.
A significant proportion left the city following the events of February 2011 but slowly and surely people have begun to return. And in order to make up for those that have left, New Zealand immigration has supplied scores of construction workers to assist with the rebuild operation, and many of them will be looking to stay as the operation finishes in the next 18 months.
Auckland, currently the largest and most diverse city in New Zealand, has a population of 1.5 million, 40% of which were born overseas. While Christchurch's population is made up of just 20% foreign-born residents, below the national average of 23%; studies predict that is about to change.
"The proportion of ethnic groups in the city will rise quite rapidly and quite fast," said Professor Paul Spoonley of Massey University. "It's going to change the cultural mix and transform the community."
An estimated 26,000 construction workers are set to arrive in Christchurch over the next 18 months, along with another 12,000 strong secondary wave of shop owners, restaurants etc.
Professor Spoonley said Christchurch might not be prepared for such a change but would need to welcome new arrivals to ensure the successful revival of the city.
"Christchurch is going to need to rebuild in a social sense as well as a physical sense. You need champions for the rebuild, you need champions for worker recruitment and I think you will need champions for making Christchurch a welcoming city.
"The people of Christchurch have got to understand that there are going to be very different faces on the streets soon. It's going to be a very different city in a few years and it is important they adjust to that."
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New Zealand visa reprieve for Tongan testimony
Tongans have been assured they
won't face deportation if they
help authorities catch the
Victims of New Zealand visa scam targeted at Tongans living illegally in the country have been urged to come forward to help prosecute the scams' perpetrators.
Reports of unscrupulous or sham immigration advisers purportedly offering to obtain a New Zealand visa for Tongan citizens living illegally in New Zealand are rife but authorities have struggled to gain assistance from victims through fear of being deported.
Immigration scams targeting vulnerable people are common around the world as illegal residents are typically desperate for a route to legal residency or citizenship yet are reluctant to go to the authorities once they have been scammed through fear of being deported.
In order to help tackle such schemes, New Zealand immigration authorities have promised not to take action on any Tongans who come forward with information about the schemes regardless of their immigration status.
"We actually got an assurance from the investigating police detective and also immigration department that those people who were victims of this scam would be able to come in and puck up their passports without any recourse in regard to their situation of being an overstayer," said Will Ilolahia, a New Zealand-Tonga community activist.
"We're trying to encourage our people that by being straight up with this that might help them in their own situation.
"Every community has their crooks but for me this is just not on. It's preying on the desperation of these people who are just trying to get a good life."
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New Zealand immigration makes Auckland cultural diversity capital
Auckland is one of the most
culturally diverse cities in the
A recent New Zealand immigration study revealed that as many as two in five residents in Auckland were born overseas, making the country's largest city one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
The report places Auckland alongside other major world cities such as New York City, London and Toronto as welcoming to people of all nationalities and will be extremely beneficial to New Zealand's international reputation.
As the world's most isolated country, New Zealand immigration did little for the country's population and diversity; government policy typically placed higher preference on people of British or Dutch origin which resulted in a predominantly West European and Maori population.
However, in the past two decades, New Zealand visa and immigration policy has become much more welcoming to people of all nationalities and the country's cities now present a much more varied and diverse face to the world.
The national average of 23% foreign born is relatively high compared to the rest of the world but Auckland's 40% average makes it a genuine world leader in diversity and as other major world cities with broad ethnic spectrums have shown, a multicultural population fuels a city's influence on culture, industry and politics.
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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the New Zealand Visa Bureau.
©Visa Bureau 2003-2013