A warm wel­come for mi­grants

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

A red car­pet is be­ing rolled out to wel­come mi­grants into the world’s fourth most di­verse city.

Ki­wiz­ing, a new busi­ness, is eas­ing ner­vous mi­grants’ en­trance into Auck­land by pro­vid­ing a warm wel­come, in­stant phone ac­cess, and, if you can af­ford it, a place to live.

The busi­ness was started by 29-year-old Pariket Dhabuwala who works at Green­lane Clin­i­cal Cen­tre and his wife Bhoomi.

The cou­ple aimed to pri­mar­ily help mi­grants on stu­dent visas from In­dia, but Dhabuwala said any­one who bought a pack­age would re­ceive their ex­per­tise.

‘‘We were mi­grants once, we faced some dif­fi­cul­ties in the ini­tial days,’’ Dhabuwala said.

The idea for the busi­ness came af­ter Dhabuwala had his own stress­ful ex­pe­ri­ence when he ar­rived late one night five years ago.

Af­ter he landed he was de­layed and a taxi that had been or­dered left with­out him.

‘‘I ex­pected some­one to be hold­ing my name but no one was there.’’

He didn’t have a phone, or a coin to use to make a call so he ended up catch­ing a taxi that cost him more than $100.

‘‘It was very scary be­cause I didn’t know any­one,’’ he said.

Auck­land’s pop­u­la­tion is pre­dicted to grow by half a mil­lion over the next 20 to 30 years, with a large por­tion of that com­ing from im­mi­gra­tion.

Ki­wiz­ing wanted to cater to the grow­ing de­mand and of­fered four pack­ages rang­ing from $149 up to $700.

The base ser­vices pro­vides an air­port pick up and a mo­bile SIM card, the next tiers in­clude a week’s worth of gro­ceries, as­sis­tance with bank ac­counts, IRD forms and driv­ers li­censes, and organising per­ma­nent ac­com­mo­da­tion.

At the top end Ki­wiz­ing will even pro­vide com­forts like du­vets, pil­lows, and elec­tric blan­kets.

‘‘Many peo­ple who come here don’t know any­one, they want to study, they’ve got their visa, but they don’t know any­one who can take care of them,’’ Pariket said.

He said his goal was for peo­ple to have a peace­ful start to their time in New zealand.

‘‘Be­fore land­ing they will have peace of mind that yes some­one is there wait­ing for me and ev­ery­thing else will be taken of.’’

Dhabuwala said the im­me­di­ate aim was to fo­cus on the July in­take of stu­dents.

JAMES PASLEY/FAIR­FAX NZ

When Dhabuwala landed he ex­pected some­one to be hold­ing out his name but no one was there.

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