Thursday, June 06, 2013

Noodle house reopens in central city

u Ouyang has waited more than two years for the reopening of his central Christchurch restaurant. The family-owned Sampan House in Gloucester St today opened its doors for the first time since the February 2011 earthquake forced its closure. Ouyang said it was "very exciting". He said customers were already returning, with 12 people booked for lunch today. The noodle house adds to the growing list of eateries opening in the central city. Ouyang's other Sampan House, in Colombo St, also suffered quake damage and has been demolished. He said it was "very difficult" after the quakes. With a desire to keep trading, he had opened a store in Greymouth in the interim. CAROLINE KING Last updated 12:50 31/05/2013

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Jim He

Honour spurs promoter on DANIELLE STREET Last updated 05:00 05/06/2013 Jim He has worn many hats during his working life - from agricultural chemist to international trade facilitator. But it is his work promoting Kiwi films and China, and vice versa, that saw the Epsom resident made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit during Queen's Birthday weekend. Mr He moved to New Zealand from Beijing in 1989 to complete a masters degree in chemistry. From there he went on to earn a crust working for a company developing chemicals for the farming industry for about 16 years. "I resigned in 2008, I felt I needed to do something I love to do. I really love culture and arts, but film is my favourite. That's why I started bringing in films from China to show here." After two successful Chinese Film Festivals in New Zealand, Mr He became a driving force in organising Kiwi films to be exhibited in China. The first New Zealand Film Festival was held in China in 2002, and the countries now hold film festivals on alternating years. Mr He also helped push through a film production treaty between the two countries that enabled Kiwi films to gain a foothold in the lucrative Chinese market, which last year was worth around $3.2 billion. "China only imports 50 films per year from overseas and 90 per cent of those films are American," Mr He explains. "So New Zealand films would never get into the market otherwise." With the increasing population of Chinese people in New Zealand, movies are also a helpful tool to understanding the different cultures, Mr He says. "Film is the perfect window. In two hours' time it can show a country's culture, economy, lifestyles, everything. It can open people's eyes." Alongside his work promoting films, his appointment to the Order of Merit recognises Mr He's ongoing work in the Chinese community. He is the secretary general of the United Chinese Association, which has more than 30,000 members in Auckland. He runs cultural events for the association, helps settle new immigrants and keeps people informed of policy changes from local and central government. Mr He was nominated for the award by his long-time colleague Kai Luey. "I was so pleased that he recognised my efforts and my achievements. It has given me much of the inspiration to carry on doing what I am now." - © Fairfax NZ News

Monday, June 03, 2013

Many migrant parents leave with children

Many migrant parents leave with children By Lincoln Tan 5:30 AM Monday Jun 3, 2013 Seventeen sponsored migrant parents are dead and more than 3000 have left the country, new figures released by the Immigration Minister show. Last week, the Herald reported that 2968 migrants who sponsored their parents under a family reunification scheme are not in New Zealand. Of the 5125 sponsored parents, 1847 have been left alone in the country and 55 had not entered New Zealand. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the parent policy was aimed at enticing more skilled migrants and entrepreneurs by providing a pathway for family reunification. "Nearly two-thirds of parents whose child sponsor has left New Zealand have actually left with them," he said. The parent category was relaunched last July as a two-tier scheme, where general criteria for health, character and English language must be met. Applicants who can prove they could bring $500,000 of settlement funds into New Zealand, or have a sponsor who earned at least $65,000, will be placed in the top tier. Less wealthy applicants are put into tier two, and may have to wait up to seven years to get a visa. Article continues below The estimated time it takes to process tier one applicants is six months. There was an increase of 14 per cent in approvals under the parent category last year, up from 4036 in 2011 to 4601. By Lincoln Tan Email Lincoln

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Home-build lure for Asian migrants

Home-build lure for Asian migrants By Lincoln Tan 5:30 AM Friday May 24, 2013 Immigration campaign gives wealthy investors chance to qualify for residency by building more houses Asian business migrants looking at moving to New Zealand are being urged to invest in real estate to secure their residency. Migration seminars are being conducted in nations such as Singapore and Malaysia aimed at people willing to put upwards of $1.5 million into new residential property developments. One seminar, held in Sabah, Malaysia, last weekend was advertised as "Invest in New Zealand: investing in real estate to secure permanent residence." Residential property is considered an acceptable investment if the purpose is to make a commercial return on the open market. Immigration visa services general manager Nicola Hogg said investors needed to show they met the criteria, including health, character and English language requirements. "The residential property must be in the form of new developments ...[and] must have been approved and gained any required consents by any relevant regulatory authorities," Ms Hogg said. The principal investor must be no older than 65 and have at least three years' business experience. "The investment made must not be for the personal use of the applicant and this includes investing in assets such as a personal residence," Ms Hogg said. A spokesman for Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the scheme would lead to more new houses being built. "We are conscious of the housing market concerns, and that's why to be eligible, investors need to be building new housing," he said. "They are also excluded from living in these new dwellings." He said the investor policy had been extremely successful in providing economic stimulus and bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in overseas capital to New Zealand. Michael Yong, a Malaysian-based licensed New Zealand immigration adviser, who spoke at last weekend's seminar, said more than 10 participants expressed interest in migrating and investing. The seminar was part of a New Zealand property exhibition promoting the Kingfisher lakefront development in Taupo. Posters promoted the development as prime waterfront land with "bungalow plots" ranging from 650sq m to 2322sq m. "No stamp duty, no capital gains tax, completed development titles available today," it said. Lois Lim, who attended a migration seminar in Singapore in January, said it had also promoted property investment as a pathway to New Zealand residency. She believed this was because Asians were generally more comfortable investing in property than in businesses, especially in markets that were foreign to them. "With real estate investment, you own something tangible and the risk is lower," said Ms Lim, a Singaporean trader. "Of course it is really attractive if you can make money and also gain permanent residency." New Zealand Property Investors Federation vice-president Terry le Grove, said this would drive up demand for land, and "there's already enough demand". The rules To come to NZ as an "investor" an applicant must: • Be 65 or younger. • Have a minimum three years' experience in business. • Invest $1.5 million in New Zealand for four years. • Meet health, language and character criteria. Source: Immigration New Zealand

Migrants' parents left alone in NZ

Migrants' parents left alone in NZ By Lincoln Tan 5:30 AM Friday May 31, 2013 Sponsors of thousands of elderly here under family reunification scheme leave country without them Chinese senior citizens stay in touch with each other by playing Chinese chess at the Northcote Town Centre. Thousands of elderly migrant parents, sponsored by their children under a family reunification scheme, are being left to fend for themselves in New Zealand. Nearly 3,000 people who brought their parents into New Zealand under the parent category are no longer in the country, figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act revealed. About a third of these sponsors are from China (31 per cent), followed by migrants who had obtained citizenship (20.3 per cent) and India (13.7 per cent). Other significant groups include South Africans (4.9 per cent) and the British (4.4 per cent). There are 22,832 sponsors who are still in the country, but it is not known how many sponsored parents are being left in New Zealand by absent sponsors. As each sponsor could sponsor both parents, the number could potentially be upwards of 5,000. China has been the largest source country for migrants approved through the parent category, and last year made up 47 per cent. Four in 10 Chinese who gained permanent residence over the 2011-12 period were aged 50 or over. China's one-child policy and Immigration's "centre of gravity" rule, where parents could be sponsored if the number of adult children living in New Zealand was equal to or exceeded those in any single country, made it possible for nearly all Chinese living here to become parent sponsors. The category was relaunched as a two-tier scheme last July, where applications of those with wealthier sponsors would be processed faster. Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley said it was not uncommon for migrants to seek the best options and "make the most" of what a country offered. "The Brits would consider things like the ease of transfer of their UK pension, and for the Chinese, availability of care for the elderly is important," Professor Spoonley said. "Clearly that's not the intention of the parent immigration policy and a tweak may be necessary." Professor Spoonley said that sponsors who intended to leave the country long term without their parents should be made to apply for an exemption. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said he did not believe it was a widespread trend for sponsors to leave their parents behind. "In the minority of cases where a parent decides to stay behind, there could be very good reasons," Mr Woodhouse said. "They may have other children and family in New Zealand, their sponsor may only be away temporarily and planning to return [or] the parent could even have found a New Zealand partner." Mr Woodhouse said the policy goal for the parent category was to entice more skilled migrants and entrepreneurs "by providing a pathway for family reunification". "The net inflow of migrants is estimated to be worth around $1.9 billion per year." Migrants are eligible for NZ super after 10 years of residence. Last year, the parent category made up 11 per cent of all permanent residence approvals with 4601 visas granted. Free health care best option for some Elderly migrant parents left behind in New Zealand by their children say they miss being with their families, but are otherwise happy. Two Chinese fathers spoke to the Herald on the condition of anonymity. One, who turns 77 next month, said his 50-year-old son returned to China in 2011 to take over a family business and suggested his father stay behind. He has lived in Auckland since 2009, and often visits Northcote Town Centre where he meets friends for tea or Chinese chess. "My son is too busy in China and will not have time for me, so he said I should stay here because I have friends and we can take care of each other," he said in Mandarin. "There is no free health care and no government support for old people in China, and I think I am happier here and have fewer worries." The man said his son was also worried about new legislation in China, to take effect from July 1, which would punish those who fail to support their elderly parents. Another, aged 74, said he has been living with friends after his daughter, 48, moved to Melbourne last year. "I miss being with her and my grandchildren, but I see it as having a new family now," he said. He suffers from diabetes and arthritis, and his daughter felt he would be better off in Auckland, as he would not have free health care in Australia. Missing parent sponsors • 2968* parent sponsors have left the country • 921 from China • 601 migrants with NZ citizenship • 406 India • 145 South Africa • 131 United Kingdom * people who sponsored their parents under Parent Category since 1999 Source: Immigration New Zealand