Assuaging the concerns of many temporary migrant workers, both onshore and those stranded off-shore, immigration lawyer Alastair McClymont says that the bill per se is not good or bad. 

It is the intention and the actions of the government to how to use those powers while processing visas and granting exceptions to the current restrictions placed at New Zealand borders that will determine the outcome. 

Alastair McClymont was speaking with the Indian Weekender earlier today around the panic set in the community after reports by several ethnic media outlets that suggested that through this bill the government might be planning to not allow temporary migrants stranded overseas back in the country. 

“The bill in itself does not change any uncertainty prevailing otherwise about the future of the temporary migrant workers, both onshore and offshore,” Alastair said. 

“This bill is at most an important tool for the government and Immigration NZ to act fast and decisively,”

“We cannot say that this bill is good or bad,” Alastair said. 

However, subsequently, responding to another question related to the government’s tough rules around border restrictions and the exception regime that is very selectively allowing non-citizens and non-residents in the country based on the “criticality” of there skills for New Zealand economy, Alastair seemed to give away that all might not be well for temporary migrant workers currently stranded overseas. 

“I think the government's priority will be changed and they will be acting on the basis of the changed priorities due to the impact of Covid-19 on the economy,” Alastair said. 

“They were needed when we had 4 per cent unemployment but not sure if the government thinks that it needs them when unemployment will be around 10 per cent,” Alastair said. 

On being reminded that higher unemployment does not necessarily mean people queuing and picking up jobs that they earlier did not want to do, Alastair agreed, saying “the governments, particularly this government do not want to have that conversation.”