Concern elderly Chinese being left alone

  • 10/05/2016
Concern elderly Chinese being left alone

Winston Peters wants immigration rules changed following reports that elderly Chinese coming here to join family members are being left on their own.

The NZ First leader says they're being cared for by the state while their children "shoot off to live in Australia and other places".

He's reacting to a New Zealand Herald report that says nearly 11,000 of the migrants older than 50 who entered New Zealand since 2011 have been from China.

A Chinese social worker -- who did not want to be named -- says many working-age Chinese immigrants sponsored family members to look after their children.

However, the elderly people were often left to fend for themselves when they were no longer needed or the sponsors left.

Age Concern Auckland chief executive Kevin Lamb agrees there is a problem.

"Obviously, with the growing number of older Chinese in Auckland, this issue is set to rise considerably," he says.

Mr Peters says the result is taxpayers footing the bill.

"The fact is we're seen as being a pensioners' paradise and we're being exploited."