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After shattering over 10,000 migrants’ dreams and splitting families, Jacinda Ardern keeps her panic intact. Here’s how

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Jigar Dave
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1. Ban on Indians entering New-Zealand

Latest ‘Ban’ on Indians entering New-Zealand is cruel and completely occurred out of panic. The temporary suspension will be in place from April 11 to April 28, 2021 as the number of Coivd-19 cases being imported in New-Zealand has spiked in recent weeks. Recently Quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia was announced which will be taking place from 11:59pm on 18 April. New-Zealanders and Aussies can now enjoy and travel quarantine-free between Australia and New Zealand.

2. No help in near-sight even though high number of migrants stuck outside NZ

While more than 10,000 migrants who normally live in NZ, but are stuck outside the country since March 31, 2020 last year. Prime minister of New-Zealand Jacinda Ardern ordered to keep the border close due to covid-19 reasons. Majority of migrants who are on temporary visas hailing from India have suffered ‘big’ due to loosing carrier and finance.

People who were supposed to file Permanent resident visa, or start College after paying thousand of dollars got into limbo and many migrant out of over 50,000 whose visa was about to expire lost all hope.

3.Closure of INZ offices from countries with high number of incoming migrants

Mumbai, Manila and Pretoria INZ immigration offices closed by March 2021. Due to New Zealand border restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration New Zealand decided to close offices in Mumbai, Manila and Pretoria by March 2021 to bring more visa processing onshore. The office closures will affect 329 staff, who are locally employed in each city. Immigration New Zealand is also planning to withdraw visa processing from the Beijing office.

4. Not spending enough on Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities

The Government has collected $6.7 million in fees for managed isolation, while it’s owed at least another $1.5 million from returnees’ overdue payments. Six months after the fees scheme was introduced for the border hotels at least $23m worth of invoices have been sent out. Returnees have three months to pay the fees, which are issued ‘per room’. New Zealand has a total of 4,500 MIQ rooms in hotels across the country, but over the next month the website shows up to 4,605 bookings per slot which is not enough in this Covid-19 emergency.

Temporary entry class visa holders who are partners, spouses, legal guardians or children (under 18) of citizens or residents, or a critical health worker, and are sharing an MIQ room with that person, will remain liable to pay the lower MIQ additional person rates. These are $950 for an additional adult in room and $475 for a child aged 3-17. However, where they are travelling separately, the temporary entry class visa holder will be charged the higher fees of $5520 for the first or only person in a room, $2990 for an additional adult, and $1610 for an additional child. All costs include GST. The fee increases came in effect from 12.01am on Thursday March 25, 2021.

It is evident that returning New-Zealanders has to pay hefty amount to just isolate while government is busy spending millions on District health Boards inefficiently and not increasing MIQ facilities.

5. Avoiding Humanitarian Discussion on Petitions regarding Migrants

A group of migrants took to the steps of Parliament today calling on the government to allow their families to enter the country.

Recent petition by the independent group stood tough making their case to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, and Ethnic Communities Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan​. Faafoi has in recent weeks been unwilling to budge on the restrictions affecting these families, and on Tuesday he asked the families to have “a little bit more patience”. Further National Party spokeswoman for immigration Erica Stanford said Parliament’s Education and Workforce Select Committee should open an inquiry into migrant issues caused by the border closure. “These migrants have had no platform to share their stories or call for change … A select committee inquiry would allow MPs to learn how Covid-19 has upended these migrants’ lives,” she said.

1st Lockdown: 25 March 2020
At 11:59pm, New Zealand moved to Alert Level 4, and the entire nation went into self-isolation. A State of National Emergency was declared at 12:21pm

Recent event : 12 March 2021
Auckland moves to Alert Level 1 at midday. All of New Zealand is now at Alert Level 1

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Jigar Dave
Read, write , Learn.

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