New migrants to New Zealand say they can't be themselves

New migrants in New Zealand say they're finding it difficult to be themselves. 

Recent migrants, who've lived in New Zealand for less than five years, are more likely to feel discriminated against, a survey has found.  

Around 26 percent of recent migrants say they'd felt discriminated against in the previous 12 months, compared with about 16 percent for long-term migrants, the General Social Survey (GSS) for 2016-2017 by Statistics NZ found

The GSS is the official measure of social wellbeing in New Zealand. For the survey, over 8000 people were asked about how they feel about life in the country during those years. 

While new migrants were found to be more likely to feel discriminated against, they also feel safer in their neighbourhood than other groups, the survey found. 

"Newer migrants were more trusting of other people, and also felt safer than long-term migrants and New Zealand-born people," Jason Attewell, labour market and household statistics senior manager, said. 

New migrants felt safe using or waiting for public transport at night, and when walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark, compared with long-term migrants and people born in New Zealand. 

New migrants to New Zealand say they can't be themselves
Photo credit: Supplied / Statistics New Zealand

"Recent migrants always felt safer than other people living in the same area, regardless of how deprived the area was," Mr Attewell said.

"This could be because some recent migrants feel New Zealand is a safer place to live than where they originally came from."

Interestingly, female migrants felt safer using public transport and walking alone after dark when compared with women born in New Zealand, the survey found. 

Last month the Government announced plans to change the temporary work visa system, which aims to make it both easier for companies to hire migrant workers and keep them protected from exploitation. 

The Government also plans to review some of the changes made by the previous Government, including the stand-down periods for lower-skilled migrants and family entitlements for lower-skilled workers.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: