NEW ZEALAND IN 2011 THERE WERE 45638 STUDENTS OUT OF WHICH 12000 INDIAN MALE STUDENTS BUT ARRIVED WITH LITTLE MONEY TO FINANCIALLY SURVIVE IN THE COUNTRY AND TO EARN MONEY THEY MAKE SIX HOUR TRIP FROM AUCKLAND FOR SEASONAL WORK DESPITE POOR CONDITIONS LONG HOURS AND ILLEGAL PAY RATES AND GOVT NOT DOING ANYTHING
The study cites 2011 figures showing export education was then worth $2.5 billion annually to the NZ economy. In 2010 there were 45,638 students in the post-secondary sector with the top three source countries being China, South Korea, and India.
The education and horticulture sectors are New Zealand's two major export industries and together have an export value of over $5.7 billion, a combined export value outranking all other sectors but diary and meat exports.
The study - Managed Migration - finds there is a large population of migrant students prepared to take on kiwifruit work in spite of illegal pay rates, poor conditions and long hours.
In 2011 there were more than 12,000 mainly Indian male students in New Zealand, three times the 2005-06 figures. Aged between 18 and 26, more than half stay in the Bay of Plenty, but 43 per cent make the six hour round trip from Auckland for seasonal work in kiwifruit orchards.
Many have little, or no financial support, from their family and arrive with little money to financially survive in New Zealand.
Most find the jobs through word of mouth, friends and classmates. All student migrants involved with the study are underpaid getting between $8 - $11 an hour with the average wage being $9.50. Females working in the pack house earn the highest rates, but still below the minimum wage of $14.25 an hour.
While kiwifruit pay is low it's higher than poorly paid jobs in shops and restaurants, the study finds.
Immigration status is spread between those on a current student visa and job search visa. Those on a student visa can legally work up to 20 hours, but students in the study choose kiwifruit work at low pay because they can make up the money through working long hours, the study finds.
A culture of long hours was prevalent, and necessary for many students because their wages were not sufficient, says the study. The choice of working long hours was often a ‘claytons' choice'.
All survey respondents reported working more than 20 hours as the norm; as did interviewees. Average hours worked per week were 29 hours - less than half had any formal written contract.