Citizens Advice Bureau
May 15 2017 by Rachel Rose
For those of you living in Queenstown without a New Zealand or Australian passport, this message is primarily for you. With the recent tightening of immigration policies, and the rhetoric of some politicians, migrant workers are once again under the spotlight. As Chairperson of the Citizens Advice Bureau Queenstown, I am proud to represent a national organisation that supports all people in New Zealand, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Each year in Queenstown we assist over 4000 clients to gain information, support, and advice, empowering them to understand and exercise their rights.
Sadly, all too often, many of us feel powerless to change things because we don’t know our rights. We are scared to confront someone who has power over us, and we may be handicapped by language and cultural barriers. We want our migrant workers to know that you are not alone, and that this community wants to support you to have a healthy, safe, fun and successful time in this wonderful resort town.
Queenstown is a wonderful place to be, and one of the main reasons is the plethora of international cultures represented in our small town. At my children’s school there are over 30 nationalities, and we are all the richer for it every day. We want to ensure that those of you who have recently settled here are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills to deal with the challenges everyday life throws at us. If you visit our Bureau, you will see the signs “Is that legal”, and “Can my landlord do that?” If you are not being treated fairly and legally, then your time here can quickly become very stressful, and we want you to know there are free and easily accessible options to get help. The Citizens Advice Bureau has trained volunteers, several of whom are multi-lingual, runs a free legal clinic, and has access to free phone based translators. There is always a way to solve a problem!
As we head into the winter season, we would like to invite anyone on a temporary visa to come to our free workshop on employment rights from 5.30pm-7.30pm on the 18th May at the Senior Citizens Rooms, opposite the rec ground in Memorial Street. We have the regional labour inspector visiting. She will be able to give you information on everything you need to know about wages, paid leave, and employer obligations and responsibilities. We will also be covering recent employment and immigration law changes, and what to do if you are having problems with your employer. We will provide a welcoming environment, where you are free to ask questions, and we will also be providing food J
If you cannot make it on the night due to work commitments, and have an issue you would like to discuss, then please come and see us on the corner of Stanley and Ballarat streets. We are open Monday to Friday 9.30am-4.30pm.
Chairperson Queenstown Citizens Advice Bureau