18 Jan 2010

Chinese migrant numbers prompt support warning

6:30 pm on 18 January 2010

An Auckland-based migrant service is warning of a lack of social support for the growing number of elderly Chinese migrants.

Figures released by the Department of Labour show China has become the biggest source of family-sponsored migrants.

China is now the largest source of family-sponsored migrants to New Zealand.

The department says 16% of the 9459 people granted residency through an uncapped family stream for partners and dependent children in 2008-2009 were from China.

In addition, 28% of 5000 new residents in the parent, sibling and adult child stream were Chinese.

China and Britain have been the two main sources of new residents under the uncapped family stream since 2006-2007, but last year China outstripped Britain for the first time.

Bevan Chuang from the Auckland Regional Migrant Service says elderly Chinese who come to live with their children in Auckland often struggle to integrate.

She says there is no home care support specifically for Chinese-speaking elderly people, and there is a lack of support networks to help them socialise together.