Immigrants and anti-racist activists call for Shane Jones' head

A rally demanding Shane Jones' resignation will take place on Sunday, as anger continues to grow over his comments about immigrants. 

Jones, a NZ First MP and Cabinet minister, said last week if immigrants don't like the Government's new immigration policy regarding arranged marriages, they can "catch the next flight home".

"You have no legitimate expectations in my view to bring your whole village to New Zealand," he said, prompting outrage from Indian groups, who say the policy discriminates against people in arranged marriages.

The new rules state couples must have lived together to qualify for a partnership visa. Most couples in arranged marriages haven't.

"The Indian community is outraged and angry, but at the same time we've also got tangata whenua who feel that they've been disrespected," Anu Kaloti from the Migrant Workers' Association told Newshub.

Parent visas also now require people to earn four times the average income to bring their parents into the country.

The Migrant Workers' Association has teamed up with Love Aotearoa Hate Racism to stage a rally at Aotea Square at 2:30pm. Kaloti said Jones' comments were the absolute tipping point.

"New Zealand citizens or second, third, fourth-generation migrants, most of us don't earn that much. Whose side is this Government on? We make all the material wealth and contribute to the economy of Aotearoa, and this is how we get treated?"

Jones said immigrants need to adapt like Māori, who "adapted with the arrival of the Pākehā" and slammed their "elevated sense of entitlement".

"You always have the option of staying in your own country, marrying a lady over there, living there for two or three years, and then proving it's a genuine marriage... That option is always available." 

Kaloti said Jones' latest comments have rubbed salt into their wounds.

"We've had racist immigration policy towards people on partnership visas, struggling for three, four, five years to get their partners here lawfully - now this racist comment from Shane Jones has just been the absolute tipping point."