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July 21, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Asian students go on OEs too

Labelling Asian students as a “drain on the economy” because they move overseas to work is unfair and inaccurate, according to one of the authors of a major report.

The report – ‘Asians in New Zealand: Implications of a Changing Demography’ – shows that Asian immigration to New Zealand will continue to grow as economic ties become stronger between Asia and New Zealand.

The findings follow suggestions of an “Asian Invasion” – a term which first surfaced in 1996 from New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters which was met with great public anger.

Waikato University Vice-Chancellor Richard Bedford, one of the writers of the recent report, said the term was inaccurate, in that it did not show a full representation of the different groups among Asians.

According to an earlier report – ‘Friends and Allies: The Impacts of Returning Asian Students on New Zealand-Asia Relationships’ – a vast majority of international students in New Zealand do not remain in New Zealand, but either return to their home countries or travel elsewhere.

Bedford said that it was unfair to single out Asian students moving overseas to work, as many young New Zealanders did the same.

“New Zealand-born Asians – they’ve got the same options and the same opportunities as other New Zealanders. They’ve gone through the same education system as New Zealanders and they’ll probably have the same views on overseas migration, no more than any other New Zealander.”

“There’s a lot of out-migration of young adults in New Zealand – Pakeha, Maori, many New Zealanders go overseas for their overseas experience – so these Asian students are just the same.”

“If we go looking out into the future, there are different projections of clusters. This whole idea of this Asian population is problematic. Chinese and Indian people wouldn’t identify themselves as the same and yet they are both ‘Asian.’ To say ‘Asian’ is not fair. It’s the same as for Pacific. You have Tongan, Samoa, Fijian – they’re different.”

While many Asian students end their time in New Zealand with a desire to stay on, the lack of employment opportunities and the pull of home and family mitigate that desire.

At the time of the 2006 census there was a total of 354,552 Asians residing in New Zealand. Of that, 41.6 per cent are Chinese, 29.5 per cent are Indian and 29.8 per cent are of other Asian ethnicities. 70,650 Asians were born in New Zealand.

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  1. shirley is a rascist says:

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