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Auckland Action Against Poverty says temporary work visa holders, who are trying to remain in New Zealand finding employment, have been denied support right before Christmas.
Accordingly, they are not able to meet the criteria for accessing emergency benefits which leaves them without any financial assistance over the Christmas period.
“Many members in the community are being denied support as they don’t have proof they’re returning home, despite being here to work and study which is leaving them extremely stressed and worried about how they’re going to cope during the break and beyond,” says coordinator for Auckland Action Against Poverty Brooke Stanley Pao.
“The government is actively making it harder for people on temporary visas to access the support required to alleviate hardship by determining which communities are more deserving of support during this time, further entrenching racist ideas about our value as human beings,” says Brooke Stanley Pao.
“People who have never had to access income support but now have to due to Covid are now finding the lack of humanity MSD shows specific groups in our community unbelievable.”
Internationally, New Zealand is a country that leads with ‘kindness’, but in reality, it just continues to centre the need of businesses and the economy over peoples lives.
Temporary Visa Holders will have support until February has put a harder toll on pressure for people who are trying to make a change in their visas before then. The process is not a simple, easy step-by-step, but a lengthy one.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, especially when life becomes tough. People who are here away from their families and wider support networks contribute to the diversity and vibrancy of our communities,” says Brooke Stanley Pao.
Action Against Poverty Auckland is calling the Government to adopt a high trust model at Work and Income as the framework for their practices. Work and Income should be a service that gives people trust in the system.
“Extending the time frame they can receive support is also paramount. Anything short of this is continuing to uphold the racist and oppressive ideologies on which this current system was built,” says Brooke Stanley Pao.