Someone needs to politely tell Deputy Prime and New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters that other immigrant nations do allow migrants to bring their parents on a long-term basis.
Someone also need to remind Mr Peters and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway that their ill-founded assertions that the changes in parent visa category is aligned with this government's approach towards skilled migrant visas suggesting that only highly-skilled migrants should be eligible to bring their parents, is a cheap display of arrogance and ignorance.
Speaking to RNZ earlier today, Mr Peters said the parental category visa changes that switch the financial onus from the parent moving to New Zealand to the child sponsor and almost doubles the income test is "precisely" what New Zealand First pushed for at the Cabinet table.
"Where in the world can you decide to go and take your parents as well?" Mr Peters asserted.
Mr Peters also repeated what Ms Ardern and Mr Lees-Galloway had been mumbling since Monday, October 7, "Only when a skilled migrant is living in New Zealand, who is critical to the workforce, and is in demand internationally does it make sense to allow them to bring a parent in."
The ignorance and the arrogance of the trio of Peters-Ardern-Lees-Galloway in their callous thinking are overflowing in abundance.
Firstly, someone needs to enlighten Mr Peters that New Zealand is not the only country where migrants were able to take their parents along with them in their old-age until very recently.
Other immigrant-nations such as Canada, Australia, do have provisions that allow parents to live on long term-basis along with their children and grandchildren without being a burden on their public exchequer.
Canada has for long a provision for a long-term, multiple-entry visa for parents and grandparents of permanent residents or Canadian citizens. The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa (Super Visa) is a temporary resident permit that allows parents and grandparents to stay for up to 2 years in Canada per visit. It is valid for up to 10 years.
Similarly, even Australia has a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 870) that provides parents with a new pathway to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia, while ensuring that taxpayers are not required to cover additional costs.
New Zealand needs to learn and adapt from such commonly prevalent international experience, rather than hiding shyly behind the bogey of parents being a burden on the public tax system.
In fact time has come to permanently get over this ill-founded and much-maligned bogey that most migrant-parents aspire to, and end up, being a burden on New Zealand's public health system.
This bogey, conveniently allows leaders like Winston Peters and his New Zealand First Party to spell venom on migrants almost at their will.
Having an option of a long term temporary parent visa category, without causing any burden on public tax system, is something that most of the well-intentioned migrants want and aspire, in New Zealand.
A win-win situation for both, the migrants and the country, as they are not rudely and unashamedly told on their face by the government, like the far-right anonymous social media warriors, that migrants are not welcome in New Zealand.
Similarly, the Peters-Ardern-Lees-Galloway trio has within a span of few days created a new category of "critical" skilled migrant workforce, which in their world view should be earning more than $106,000.
Only that category of "internationally sought after" skilled migrants, bringing "critical" skills to the country would be, and should be, welcome in New Zealand.
So what happens to normal workers in industries like aged-care, hospitality, construction, horticulture, dairy-farming, who barely earns around median salary ($53, 600) and a bit more?
Till now, they were also considered as a critically important workforce, without which some of the most profit-making and important industries and sectors in New Zealand would either perish or struggle to survive.
At least this is what businesses had been telling us repeatedly.
However, those migrants are not welcome anymore in this country.
Unfortunately, this has happened under the watchful eyes of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – the epitome of compassion and empathy.
More importantly, what kind of New Zealand first – as blatantly claimed by the political party of this namesake – would this country become, if the leaders openly undermine the value and the skills of migrants.
The current attitude of the coalition government towards the migrants is not only elitist but also ignorant and arrogant.