An Auckland business rolls out the red carpet for migrants

When Pariket Dhabuwala landed five years ago he expected someone to be holding out his name but no one was there.
JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

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

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.

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"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 at night in Auckland five years ago.

When he landed a taxi that had been ordered for him left before he cleared customs after he was delayed.

"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.

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"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 care of."

Dhabuwala said the immediate aim was to focus on the July intake of students for universities' second semester.

 - Stuff

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