Thursday, April 8, 2010

Migrant Tales - Teacher Duped By The Hype, Can't Find Work In NZ

$10,000 down the drain

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

This tale is taken from Expatexposed, a support forum for migrants in New Zealand.
The poster is a fully qualified American teacher who believed that New Zealand has a skills shortage and that people in her profession are needed there. Unfortunately she found out, after considerable expense to herself, she wasn’t needed at all and that there wasn’t a job for her.

What she wasn’t told was with so many Kiwis returning during the recession employers are more likely to give jobs to New Zealanders and in some cases have been forced to do so. Please see the collection of posts tagged “jobs for kiwis” for examples of this.

Yet despite all this campaigns are still being launched in countries like Singapore to attract migration applications, using draws such as ‘cheap’ housing and cars.

The situation has got so bad for some groups of migrants, who are being offered temporary WTR visas rather than PR, and not being able to find work that their consulates in NZ have issued a warning that Immigration New Zealand “covers up the fact that it is very difficult to find jobs“. See the post on wordpress: “Philippines warns citizens about NZ work to residence scheme”:
“Philippines consul-general Emilie Shi says Immigration New Zealand is not doing enough to warn would-be applicants about the difficulties of finding a job or telling them that Kiwis will be given preference by employers.

Immigration New Zealand continues to say what a great place this country is to come live and work in, but they cover up the fact that it is very difficult to find a job here, or that they will be treated as second-class workers under the scheme,” Ms Shi said…
Migrants are worth millions to the NZ economy. You could even say they’ve kept it afloat during the recession and prevented the ailing housing market from imploding into a cloud of rotten timber.

Official figures dating back to 2006 show that the migrant population of 927,000 people had a positive net fiscal impact of $3,288 million in the year to 30 June. The net fiscal impact per head was $2,680 for recent migrants, $3,470 for intermediate migrants and $4,280 for earlier migrants. The net fiscal impact for the New Zealand-born population was $915 per head.

When you look at this person’s migration costs it’s easy to see those the official figures may be on the conservative side.

Now that you’ve been filled-in on the background here’s our migrant’s tale, you can see that the odds were stacked against her from the start:
“…I have been here for only 3 months, I felt something was not right almost from the start.. I am a teacher believing the hype about the “teacher shortage“, got certified and qualified in NZ before I came, took the plunge..I don’t even know where to start. I applied to so many schools but none except for one did not even bother shortlisting me, immigration has played games with me, and my savings from the states have been depleted, had to pay for my children’s school for part of the term we have been here (even though I had a part-time job). I am exhausted, mentally drained, depressed..I feel like a failure and a fool for moving here. Now I have to put the pieces back together. I barely have enough money for next 4 months til I start teaching again in the states in Aug,will try to survive though the kindness of family and friends. How did it come to this? Please enlighten..
  • “Welcome to EE. I am sorry to hear that you have been scammed by NZ immigration. How did it happen? Let me answer your question with a question. How much money have you dumped into the NZ economy since you arrived? NZ is a country based on dairy, immigration (and the return of Kiwis with foreign earned cash), landlords and tourism. So many people are granted visas and get their qualifications recognized ($$$$$) only to arrive here to not be able to find work. In the meantime you drop tens of thousands into the NZ economy and then you are shown the door with a “we didn’t want you here anyway” attitude.NZ has a population of 4 million. About 240,000 are on the unemployment benefit, yet thousands are here on unskilled work permits (fruit picking, cafe work, hospitality). There are few professions in real demand (meaning that there are jobs currently available) and most available aren’t interested in migrants.Yet the immigration wheel continues to spin and to prop up a broken economy. Even Kiwis born and raised here must take an OE to buy property if they are not helped onto the ladder by family (or a family trust).It’s not your fault. Help the Karma wheel and tell your friends!Best to you!”
"Thanks for your reply. You have hit the nail right on the head! And unfortunately yes, I have spent tons of money in trying to get certified and approved by immigration, the flight itself, renting a place, household items, etc.. as I said in the previous post, my savings are all gone even though i am a fairly economical person, hardly go out, cook from scratch, etc.. I would say and this is not an exaggeration, i have lost at least $10,000, to find out no one wants to hire me. It really makes me angry, not only at NZ but also at myself for getting fooled..this is what’s causing the depression. I am counting the days now, trying to warn people in another website who (some) are still wearing rose tinted glasses. At first I got flak but now more people and their stories are coming out of the woodwork and i really think it is helping prospective migrants think twice about coming here to NZ. I feel like one of those people who fell for the internet lottery scam or something. Again, thanks for your support.
My savings were wiped out in less than 3 months, i had a part-time job but it was a joke, did everything i had to do on my end to teach here( NZ claims to have a teacher shortage but no one will hire you, not even shortlist you) and luckily, LUCKILY i did not give up everything back home, am going back at the end of this month…almost got stuck here…”
We wish her every success with re-establishing herself in the States and hope that others will have the wisdom to learn something from her experience.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Charitable Trust House Used As A Remand Facility For Theo Kriel

Clio Francis of the Sunday Star Times has written a feature on the treatment of teenage murderer Theo Kriel who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of British schoolgirl Liberty Templeman in the small Northland town of Kerikeri (see posts tagged Libby Templeman) and of how he was living in a house in the settlement of Maungatapere during the trial until local residents organised a petition asking for him to be removed.

The property, owned by a charitable trust,  was in effect used as a remand prison which is something that is not normally available to other youth offenders during trials. It is bound to lead to claims that he received special treatment.

To date no details of the location of Kriel’s present incarceration have been released and we assume that this is because it’s subject to suppression:
The teenage killer of Liberty Templeman lived in a spacious six-bedroom house during his murder trial, and was regularly visited there by family until a petition by outraged neighbours in the rural Northland street saw him transferred to a police station.

Liberty Templeman’s parents, Rebecca and Andrew, were unaware of the special living arrangements for Theo Kriel, 16, until approached by the Sunday Star-Times yesterday.
She said she would be demanding answers from the authorities as to why Kriel was given such special allowances and allowed to have his mum with him when no consideration had been given to the needs of her own family.

She and her husband had had to miss their 13-year-old son’s first day at college because the murder trial had started on the same day and the authorities had not been willing to delay its start.

She said Kriel had never given her family a second thought yet the authorities had bent over backwards to ensure he could have his mother with him. “It absolutely disgusts me,” Rebecca Templeman said.

Kriel was not on bail during the trial, but had a number of unusual custodial conditions, including visits from his family and sole use of an otherwise empty facility.

In addition, there were house alarms primed to go off if he left, and he wore a monitored electronic bracelet at all times. His mother or a carer was with him constantly at the house, and his father and younger brother were also allowed to visit.

At weekends he returned to an Auckland youth justice facility. Details of the arrangements were suppressed for the duration of the trial…

From Kriel’s arrest soon after the murder until the beginning of the trial he had lived in a secure youth justice residence in Auckland.
His two-week trial took place at the High Court at Whangarei but a lack of suitable imprisonment facilities in the area meant he was kept at a house in the rural settlement of Maungatapere, 12km west of the city centre.

The house was owned by the Otangarei Trust, a charitable organisation that has residential and social service contracts with CYF in Northland.

But midway through the trial, residents learnt the identity of their new neighbour. An email was circulated and a petition taken door-to-door calling for him to leave. In all, 56 signatures were collected from residents on Pukeatua Rd.
Effectively, they used the place as a remand prison and that’s not what it’s supposed to be at all,” a resident, who did not want to be named, told the Sunday Star-Times.
It would have cost a lot of money too.”

Youths remanded in custody are normally kept in secure CYF facilities while their cases are before the courts.

In the past when no beds have been available in such facilities, youths have been temporarily kept in police cells or motels where they are monitored around the clock by security guards.

It is CYF policy to keep young offenders housed as close to their families as possible.

CYF acting general manager of operations Marion Heeney said Kriel was held in a secure youth justice residence in Auckland during the weekends while the trial was on, and in a “supervised community placement” during the week.

She said the trial judge had agreed the Otangarei Trust house was the best option considering Kriel’s age and the distance from Whangarei to the nearest secure youth justice residential facility.

Heeney said when CYF learnt a complaint had been sent to the mayor, local councillors and MP Phil Heatley they took action.

“The complaint meant the suppression order in relation to the custody arrangements for trial that prevented disclosure of his location had been breached, and the accommodation in the community had been compromised.

“The trial judge reversed his earlier decision and directed that Theo would stay in a dedicated area of the police cells away from adults during the week and return to the youth justice residence on the weekend.”

Howard League For Penal Reform spokeswoman Diana Taylor said it was sad there had been an “outcry” when agencies had been doing their best in difficult circumstances.

“The irony is that had Mr Kriel been bailed to his home address instead of being remanded in custody, the outcry would have undoubtedly been even greater.”

Additional reporting by Lois Cairns.”
According to figures obtained under the Official Information Act by another newspaper, The Sunday News , there are 20 other teenage killers in prison at present:
“THERE are 20 teenage killers currently behind bars. The inmates, all aged from 15 to 19, are serving time for murder or manslaughter, according to Department of Corrections figures.

They include Jahche Broughton, 15, who bashed 27-year-old Scottish tourist Karen Aims (sic) to death in Taupo in January 2008; and teenage cousins Courtney Patricia Churchwood, 18, and Loi-lea Waiora Te Wini, 15, who murdered retired Opotiki school teacher John Rowe in November 2008.

The statistics – released to Sunday News last month under the Official Information Act – don’t include Theo Kriel, the latest teen killer to be jailed. Kriel, 16, was sentenced last month to a minimum of 11 years’ jail for the murder of Kerikeri teen Liberty Templeman in November 2008.

There are 93 jailed killers aged 40 to 44 – the largest group of imprisoned killers. They are followed by 92 killers aged 35 to 39 and 91 killers aged 30 to 34, the Corrections figures show.

And there are two inmates aged in their 70s serving time for murder or manslaughter.

The figures come as police this week released national crime statistics revealing murder rates are at a 10-year high. Last year, 65 people were murdered – up from 52 the previous year.

The statistics showed a 9% rise in violent crime and that overall crime rose by 4.6%.

According to the latest statistics on court appearances, 126,221 offenders appeared in court in 2008 – 7450 more than in 2007. Among them were 11,000 defendants aged 20 to 24 on traffic-related charges.
In total, 1850 people were granted name suppression and 2670 interim name suppression in 2008-9. Up to January 31, judges had granted name suppression for 1016 people and interim name suppression for 1536 people”

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