“Today’s expected announcement of a full border re-opening date will be met with disappointment from residents of non-visa waiver countries, who are still being shut out for no reason,” says ACT’s Immigration spokesperson Dr James McDowall.
“The announcement from the Government should be simple and portray one message – we’re moving on from COVID and everyone is welcome back to New Zealand.
“Instead as far as this Government is concerned if you happen to be from India, Sri Lanka or China, you can’t apply until July.
“Considering the current processing times from Immigration NZ, it’s also more likely you won't be able to get into the country this side of Christmas anyway.
“667,000 New Zealanders were born in non-visa waiver countries – 14 per cent of our population.
“Immigration New Zealand might claim they can’t keep up with a full re-opening of the border and need time to prepare, but the reality is that they’ve had two years off to improve systems, clear backlogs, process relevant visas and have managed to do none of that.
“This Government claims to be one of kindness but the way it’s treating migrants is cruel. It’s time for the Government to do what’s right.”