New Zealand’s plans to fast-track residency for migrants is being criticised for leaving out lower paid migrants, many of whom are Pacific Islanders.
The fast track policy focuses on 85 occupations from psychatrists to plumbers, in particular workers who earn more than twice the median wage.
However, it does not guarantee residency for minimum wage migrant workers.
Green Party spokesperson for immigration Ricardo Menéndez March said the policy was discriminatory.
“They [migrant workers] don’t earn twice the median wage, [but] they still deserve a pathway to residency, to put their roots in the community.
“So I’m really disappointed that many of the low wage workers were left out of having genuine pathways to residency, including many of our Pacific workers who are in low wage industries as well,” Menéndez March said.
This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.