Asylum seekers need work visas to be eligible to access the Emergency Benefit. However most asylum seekers just want a work visa so they can work because market pay rates are a better income than the benefit. Refer to the barrier created by the Social Security Act. It seems clear from section 74A that those without valid visas would not qualify.
This is a case of asylum seekers whose application for refugee status was initially declined and their emergency benefits cancelled. Obviously Immigration New Zealand (INZ) needs to be aware of this – as do all decision makers within INZ who are refusing requests for work visas!
This paper by the Tindall Foundation has great points on inferior treatment of convention refugees v quota refugees. Even reading only the executive summary is informative!
Inferior treatment of asylum seekers has been fostered by incorrect and biased political statements that treat asylum seekers as ‘queue jumpers’ and ‘acquirers of false passport’ and ‘economic refugees’ and ‘opportunists’. These unfair labels are made by politicians and leaders in our society who have not met and heard the private stories of real asylum seekers. Distance allows the arrogant to condemn the heroes who braved everything for the sake of justice in their own country.