Don’t cry for Argentina

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Immigration restrictions aren’t affecting Queenstown’s small Argentinean community, according to diplomatic staff.

Argentina’s ambassador to New Zealand, Pedro Herrera (left), and the embassy’s commercial section chief, Pedro Marotta, visited countryfolk living in Queenstown last week during a brief visit.

Despite work permit issues plaguing many overseas workers here, the 20 Argentineans living and working in the resort aren’t affected.

Permits have become more difficult to renew since the economic downturn and Mountain Scene understands some foreigners have had to leave NZ because of non-renewals.

“Of course Immigration has hardened its requirements. They are, in a way, more intense in their approach
and … immigrants are the first ones to suffer,” Marotta says.

“All the [Argentinean] people I’ve talked to so far are OK and even some have got residency in the last few months.

“They’re all doing different jobs – some have been here for the last seven years, some have been here just two weeks.

“The situation, until the beginning of this year, was too optimistic – but now it’s more realistic. The new waves of Argentineans coming [to NZ] are more aware of the current situation … so they’re coming with lower expectations.”