ACT’s policy of free movement/trade between Anglosphere countries – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom – shows a racist double standard, says Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign spokesperson Gayaal Iddamalgoda.
“ACT claims to be the most consistently pro-migrant party, yet this policy lays bare that they will not address the actual barriers to free movement in our world today,” says Gayaal. “Migrants from the Anglosphere already experience far fewer barriers than those from the Global South.”
“Instead of pursuing regional partnership with our Pacific neighbours, ACT seeks to cement partnership of the rich nations against poor nations.”
“The Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme already discriminates against our Pacific neighbours, by holding the threat of deportation over workers, and allowing employers to control employees’ living situations, a power inequality which has opened the door to abuse,” adds Gayaal. “ACT’s proposed policy will not address these actual barriers for migrant workers, allowing the abuse of Pasi workers to continue.”
“Migration policy is one area where racist double-standards persist. ACT also wants to introduce a ‘values test’, an assimilationist policy borrowed from other Anglosphere countries. Actually, we must question our own values, not the values of people seeking a better life for themselves and their families.”
“The Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign supports open borders to the Pacific, as a step towards a world with free movement for all workers.”
“Aotearoa/New Zealand must act as a Pacific nation, not a colonial vassal.”
ACT’s immigration policy also seeks to trim “overly generous entitlements” like pensions for those with only ten years’ residency, a policy which MARRC considers an unacceptable encroachment on NZ’s only remaining universal welfare entitlement.