MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 16, 2014) - A Filipino group in New Zealand called Migrante Aotearoa has reminded compatriots who are planning to study in the southwestern Pacific Ocean country about the high cost of living there which recruiters are not revealing.
Dennis Maga, national coordinator of Migrante Aotearoa, said it was distressing to hear about a growing number of Filipinos, who came to New Zealand via student visa and took up Business Management course, but now find themselves in limbo.
He said many of them cannot find jobs. "We hope that the 100 young Filipinos who wish to come to New Zealand through the new Working Holiday scheme won’t be victimized by those who give false promises of long term job opportunities, easy life and pathway to NZ residency at the expense of all their assets in the Philippines. What most recruiters won’t tell Filipinos back home is that living cost in NZ is very high and the country has yet to recover from unemployment levels since the 2008 recession."
"New Migrants are often victims of misinformation about working and living in New Zealand. In several reports of New Zealand government agencies such as Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, new migrant workers are victims of work exploitation, paying exorbitant fees and ending up unemployed. Some of the Filipino workers attracted to work in Christchurch have also been victims of jobs scam involving exorbitant fees to come to NZ,” he added.
Maga said since the February 2011 earthquake brought destruction to Christchurch and subsequent demolitions further denuded the city of buildings, construction companies have sought skilled workers from overseas and that it has been projected that a significant number of workers, estimated as many as 17,000 of the 35,000 workers needed for Christchurch rebuild would come from overseas.
He enjoined Filipinos already in New Zealand to join the unions and actively support the Living Wage campaign in order to get paid enough to meet daily needs in New Zealanda. The minimum wage is $13.75/hour.
"Filipinos stand to benefit if the Living Wage of $18.40 will be adopted nationwide. Filipinos and other migrants along with Maori, Pacific peoples, youth and disabled people are among those likely on low wages,” Maga said.