New Migrants’ satisfaction with life in employment, safety and relationship in New Zealand
This report is requested by the NZ Migrants, the independent immigration consultancy firm, with the aims to examine the satisfaction of life in new migrants and to classify the divergence of satisfaction between different region of origin, age group and immigration approval category (IAC) as well as to analyse the unsatisfaction part of life. In this report, life is specifically defined into three aspects - satisfaction in employment, safety and relationship. In addition, this report is responsible to generate feasible suggestion to fit the requirements that served as a reference to New Zealand’s Minister of Immigration.
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The population of New Zealand has become more diverse in recent decades and it is evolving year by year. Although owned the tight immigration policy, New Zealand ranked second in the HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey (2017). According to Migration Trends Report 2016-2017 (MBIE, 2018), during 2016 to 2017, 131,400 permanent and long-term (PLT) immigrants entered New Zealand, 59,000 PLT immigrants left New Zealand, and net income was 72,300 PLT immigrants. This has a 4.7 percent increase during 2015/16, which is the fifth consecutive year of increased immigration and the highest net increase ever. Based on the huge number of immigrants and, it is necessary to solve the common problems for immigrants, and to make New Zealand more attractive to immigrants. The government can accumulate evidence based on recent immigration and labor market outcomes to better understand satisfaction of immigration to improve services to attract more labour and skilled or business immigrations. Specifically, migrants can benefit the economy by increasing New Zealand’s global relationships, increasing population to achieve economies of scale and exploiting the spillover benefits created by migrants with complementary skills to New Zealand workers.
Overall, the majority of immigrants are satisfied with their lives in New Zealand, although with the slight ethnic differences. As stated by the Settling in New Zealand 2017 Report (MBIE, 2018), 89 per cent of the respondents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with life in New Zealand, and this number had declined since 2005 to 2009, the period that New Zealand accept three waves of migrants around world (NZ Stat, 2019). In the Asian group, this percentage is varied. Migrants who came from China were less likely satisfied with life (78%), but migrants from Philippines and India felt more satisfied than average to 97 per cent and 93 per cent respectively.
For immigrants from different regions, the tendency to immigrate is different. New Zealand’s pleasant climate and natural beauty (86%), friendly and leisure lifestyle (78%) and free from crime and violence (55%) were the main factors attracting skilled migrants to the country (Department of Labour, 2006). Immigrants from UK and Ireland preferred New Zealand’s climate and natural beauty compared to other groups, while those from Asia were more optimistic about the country’s small population and its education system and job opportunities.
Figure 1 What migrants liked the most about New Zealand (n=1742) (Department of Labour, 2006)
In general, people with immigration tendencies have a stable and satisfactory job in New Zealand, but nearly one-fifth of immigrants still had no jobs and this data was constantly changing, showing fluctuations. Based on the 2005 Department of Labour survey (2006), unemployed immigrants occupied 16% of the overall survey respondents. During the three immigration waves from 2005 to 2009, approximately 25% of immigrants had not been employed and not been seeking for the job (NZ Stat, 2019). In 2017, 19% of immigrants still had no jobs or are looking for a job (MBIE, 2018).
IAC and previous country are still concerned by the local company. It seems that if migrants owned permanent visa with Skilled Principal stream are much easier to get wages and salaries (95%) comparing the visa holder with Skilled Secondary stream (63%), the Family Partner stream (70%) and the Family Parent stream (13%) during three waves periods (NZ Stat, 2019). And 2017 report illustrated that these migrants were more likely to face difficulties on finding jobs for who came from China (57%) and India (39%) than those from the UK and Ireland (16%).
There are many reasons for hard job-seeking, for instance, employers do not want to hire immigrants who lack work experience, nor they are not wished to employ people with difficulty in communication. The company works by hiring skilled migrants who have the ability and good communication to improve the company’s profits and enhance the company’s strength. For immigrants who do not have sufficient practical ability and learning ability, the company will not recruit just to meet the needs of immigrants or the government. Through the report (MBIE, 2018), for those who did struggle to find work, the most cited reason by far was a lack of work experience in New Zealand (44%). In addition, for non-technical jobs, it requires higher communication skills, for instance, the jobs serving in service industry mainly requires the fluent English language skills. And just family immigrants lack these communication skills, leading to a low rate of employment with Family Partner stream and Family Parent stream.
In 2017, for all immigrants, 85% of employed immigrants indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their work (MBIE, 2018). This data did not change much in the IAC classification and original national classification of immigrants in the past three-wave periods.
Figure 2 Employed recent migrants’ very satisfied or satisfied with their main job, 2012-2017 (MBIE, 2018)
However, some immigrants are still dissatisfied with the status quo. Migrants from China with the evaluation satisfied or very satisfied has the lower percentage than immigrants from the UK and Ireland (MBIE, 2018). One of the unsatisfaction comes from the lower salary. Among the Asian community, although 34% are considered to be professionals and full of technology, only 19% of those earning more than 50,000 dollars a year, compared with 65% of Skilled Principal and Skilled Secondary immigrants from the UK and Ireland. 52% of skilled immigrants in North America, South America, and South Africa are much lower. On the other hand, higher living expenses with lower wage levels make them even more dissatisfied. Among the factors that are unfavourable to the employment of immigrants, the distance from the country of removal, the tax system, and medical expenses are considered to affect the life and employment of respondents. The respondents accounted for 46%, 44%, and 43% of the total (MBIE, 2018).
Safety from crime and violence is a reason attracting migrants around world and this reason was gradually become a negative factor affecting the specific life of Asian immigrants. From 2005 to 2009, 10% of migrants coming from Asian countries definitely felt unsafe, with 24% felt neither safe nor unsafe when living in New Zealand (NZ Stat, 2019). In 2017, this data has a more specific presentation 49% migrants from China felt either safe or very safe compared with those from the other top source countries. The next lowest were recent Indian migrants (84%) followed by those from the UK and Ireland and the Philippines (both 93%) (MBIE, 2018).
Figure 3 Proportion of recent migrants who felt either safe or very safe from crime since coming to New Zealand, 2012, 2014-2017 (MBIE, 2018)
One of the reasons that causing unsafe feeling among the Asian groups seems that xxx. In New Zealand, gangs are legal with a great number of members, living in every cities of New Zealand whereas in Asian countries, for instance, China, gangs are officially prohibited. No matter whatever they done, if migrants were living nearby their event location, this may be a very bad experience. Another According to Settling in New Zealand (MBIE, 2018), recent migrants who have been living in New Zealand longer are less likely to feel safe from crime. 90% of immigrants who have migrated for one year felt safe, and this number declined with the longer period of residence to 81% for two to five years, and 78% for five years longer.
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Fair is a huge and crucial issue on new migrants. This kind of discrimination happens mainly on immigrants from Asian countries and young migrants. As stated by MBIE report, more than half of the new migrants (54%) had been treated unfairly with one or more times while settled in New Zealand. Among the origin region of immigrants, China and Philippines are easier to be treated unfairly than UK and Ireland with the differs 17% and 15% respectively. Younger migrants are more likely to feel they have been treated unfairly at least once since arriving in New Zealand. For instance, 25 to 29 years old population, this figure was 58%, compared with 44% among those aged 40 to 49 and 36% among the more than 50 age group (MBIE, 2018). This divergence still happened on different Immigrants who were holding a Family Parent visa (31%) had lower possibility to be treated unfairly that than immigrants from other visa types such as Skilled Principal or Secondary visa (51%).
This is not surprising that recent immigrants were less likely to feel unfairly treated, since people who spent less time in New Zealand have less chance of being treated unfairly. However, longer period of settling resulted more unfair treatment. 51% of those who have worked here for one to two years and 48% of those who have worked here for a year say they feel they have been treated unfairly at least once since arriving in New Zealand. 66% of recent immigrants have lived here for 5 years or more.
3.1 The majority of new immigrants are satisfied with lives in New Zealand. Different migrants from different countries had different preferences on most satisfied among their life.
3.2 Four-fifths of new immigrants are employed, and one-fifth of them are still looking for work. The main problem happened in the type of visa and country of origin, for migrants who were belonging to Asian countries, or who were holding a family visa. The lack of New Zealand work experience and English communication skills were the main obstacle to finding a job.
3.3 Nearly all new migrants were satisfied with the working life, but migrants from China with Skilled visa were not satisfied because of lower salary. And high living expenses plagued Migrants who were under low salaries.
3.4 Most of new migrants were satisfied with the safety of living, whereas migrants came from North Asia concern the safety from crime in New Zealand…………..
3.5 Half of new migrants were not satisfied with unfair treatment especially happening on Asian groups, young generations and Family visa holders. Longer period of settling migrants treated more unfairly than short-term migrants.
4.1 Providing more job opportunity on a single task, for example, working as a house cleaner and cook; providing more multi-language tags in public area
4.2 Popularize knowledge about police (Alarm call number etc.) and increase monitoring probe to prevent crime
4.3 Enactment bill, or Organizing public welfare, to eliminate migration discrimination
- Department of Labour (2006). LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND: SETTLEMENT EXPERIENCES OF SKILLED MIGRANTS Results from the 2005 survey. Retrieved from https://thehub.sia.govt.nz/assets/documents/Life%20In%20New%20Zealand,%20Settlement%20Experiences%20of%20Skilled%20Migrants.pdf
- HSBC Expat (2018). Expat Explorer Survey. Retrieved from https://www.expatexplorer.hsbc.com/survey/
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (2018). Migration Trends 2016/2017. Retrieved from https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/c22ab0c547/migration-trends-2016-17.pdf
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (2018). Settling in New Zealand Migrants’ perceptions of their experience Results from the 2012 – 2017 Migrant Surveys. Retrieved from https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/c9490026c0/settling-in-New-Zealand-2017-v2.pdf
- Stats NZ (2019). Category Immigration. Retrieved from http://nzdotstat.stats.govt.nz/wbos/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=TABLECODE7
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