Indian student supporters make third protest

  • 02/10/2016
Three of the students facing deportation (Supplied)
Three of the students facing deportation (Supplied)

Supporters of international Indian students in New Zealand facing deportation are making their third protest in a month.

They will protest outside offices of National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi in Papatoetoe, Auckland at midday on Sunday.

About 150 Indian students studying in New Zealand face deportation.

Their supporters argue they have been victims of unscrupulous immigration agents and corrupt bank officials in India as well as irresponsible private training establishments in New Zealand.

They also say a lax approach was taken by Immigration New Zealand for the visa approval process.

"It is cruel and unfair to punish the students for something they have not done," protest organisers say.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has said that ultimately the students are responsible for documents submitted on their behalf.

Earlier this week comments by Mr Bakshi caused a fuss.

He is reported to have been speaking on an Indian radio programme two weeks ago when he was asked why the government was treating the students as "economic commodities".

His comment, translated into English, said: "If New Zealand gets fridges from China and they're faulty, they send them back."

The Migrant Workers Association described the comment as derogatory and outrageous.

Mr Bakshi has acknowledged he could have used a better analogy but claimed his comment was misinterpreted and he was actually referring to the New Zealand training institutions which accepted the students.