It is high time that new migrants, especially the international students who take up door-to-door sales jobs as their first moneymaking opportunity in New Zealand, are educated and sensitised about the implications of the recent government crackdown on loan sharks, mobile truck shops and door-to-door salespeople.
The government has made clear in an announcement on Wednesday, October 10, its intentions to bring more accountability amongst mobile traders and door-to-door sales person who often ends up preying upon vulnerable people on their doorsteps.
While a welcome and much-needed step, it is also vital to sensitise and educate new migrants and international students who often end up door knocking in the suburbs in metropolitan Auckland and far off regions very early after their arrival in New Zealand.
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hon Kris Faafoi (Image: Zimbio.org)
More often than not, these new migrants, especially international students are in an equally desperate situation, if not more than their potential customers in residential homes.
While the government is rightly taking action to safeguard vulnerable customers from the predatory practices of loan-sharks and mobile traders, it is equally important to find ways to ensure that the new migrants and international students who find themselves door-knocking in their very early days in the country are also adequately sensitised about the impending changes.
Often international students are least aware of the local rules and regulations, especially when working in a work environment, which is out and about, especially on the doorsteps of residential houses.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (ImageLabour.org.nz)
Recalling similar experience faced by international students in an unregulated work environment of door-to-door sales, Dushyant Sharma, an Auckland based IT professional, who first studied in Dunedin, told The Indian Weekender, “In door-to-door sales, new migrants could also be equally vulnerable in a work environment, which is not always safe and secure.
“In most cases, there is not enough training and sensitisation about what is appropriate and what is not when asking for a sale from the customer.
“I had a similar experience in Dunedin suburbs while working for a charity when I was chased and cornered by the family of a middle-aged woman who had happily agreed to sign with me for a charity.
“Her family thought otherwise and cornered me, threatening to call the police and jeopardise my visa situation, which is scary for someone who is fairly new in the country and not adequately sensitised for what is appropriate when asking for a sale from customers,” Mr Sharma said.