June 07, 2018
Marae not on immigration menu
A former immigration minister says the refusal by Immigration New Zealand to grant a work permit to a marae worker is racist and insulting.
Tuariki Delamere says Northcote's Awataha Marae wanted to promote Minalben Prajapati to the position of restaurant manager.
The marae's dining room seats 300, and it is in constant use for conferences, hui and tourism events.
The official turning down her application said as it was a Maori establishment serving Maori kai, Awataha had no need of a restaurant manager.
"The rest of it was incompetent as well and how dare Immigration New Zealand have immigration officers belittling and denigrating Maori culture. I was just appalled that you have some immigration officer says 'we are not going to recognize you because it is just Maori cuisine and Maori culture.' Well stuff you, see you on the front page of the newsapaper then" Mr Delamere says.
He says Minalben Prajapati doesn't have humanitarian grounds to lodge an appeal with the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, and if she wants to challenge the department on the facts she would need to go through an expensive high court claim.
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