'We are not discriminating the Indian community' - Shane Jones

By Mahina Hurkmans

Immigration allows different ethnicities to take their culture with them wherever they go but tougher immigration policies are making it harder.

Auckland Indian Association President Narenda Bhana says, “In Indian culture, government is expecting our people to provide a proof of them living together.”

New Zealand First is happy to stand by the tougher measure to ensure the rules are adhered to and nor do they welcome the criticism.

NZ First MP Shane Jones says, “The Indian communal leadership have undermined our leader Winston, if they want to bring their wives over than they must stop what they’re doing.”

However the President of the Indian Society say's they are being punished because of lack of understanding of their culture.

Bhana says, “The race relations commissioner’s message was to do everything you possibly can in New Zealand to protect your culture now how does it sit with what Mr Jones is saying?”

Jones says, “We are not discriminating the Indian community, I am not sure of their names and why they will belittle myself and Winston. They said if it doesn’t end they should go back to their country. What I’m saying is hop on your horse.”

Bhana says, “His comments are totally outrageous and I don't think we support it.” 

Add to that the government changes to parent income test and the numbers

The Minister of Immigration had this to say about the issue.

"There has been no government directive on partnership visas. Immigration New Zealand has made its own decision to ensure staff were clear on their own operational decision making."

Stuart Smith, Immigration spokesperson for National says, “All the partnership visas are not been approved because of the Eurocentric view of marriage and what constitutes a relationship is being adopted by Immigration New Zealand.”            

However, some view that as the problem.

Bhana concludes, “The cultural difference here in Indian culture we don't live together, we don't hold hands, we don't spend time together before we get married and this is something the New Zealand Government doesn't understand.”

It's an issue the Government deal with so its Indian citizens feel valued.