by Keith Locke
I’m glad New Zealand Immigration has cancelled its edict that a Lithuanian visitor, Jurga Skiauteris, must hop on a plane, despite medical advice that she should stay put in new Zealand because of complications with her pregnancy.
What a heartless policy New Zealand Immigration has towards pregnant women here on temporary visas.
It is actually a discriminatory policy. Recently a Korean horticulture student, Sun Won Kim, was denied a new student visa after she became pregnant. Yet her male partner, here on a work visa, was allowed to stay.
Surely all women in New Zealand have the same rights to sexual activity and to bear children, without suffering any penalty.
Being just and fair has no big downside. Are we such a mean country that we can’t afford to provide maternity services for a few women on temporary work or study visas?
What is especially mean is that the women in the above cases seemed happy to pay the cost of their own maternity care – they just didn’t want to be separated from their partner in one case and in the other were acting on medical advice.
Kicking out pregnant women also violates the international treaties protecting the rights of women and children.
This sort of attitude can’t be much help to New Zealand’s reputation as a good destination to study in. It is hardly likely to attract tourism either.
The Government may argue that a clause in our Human Rights Act excludes immigration matters from its purview, but clearly such a clause contravenes our international commitments. I say it must go.