An international student involved in a row with his old school Macleans College over second-hand uniform sales has been faced with the threat of having his international visa revoked.
Jayson Fong, a second-year Engineering student at UoA, created ‘SchoolShop’ two years ago, an app platform to buy and sell school uniforms commission-free. Having spent six months and over $1000 developing the platform, Fong received a call from the school shortly after it was launched. Fong claims he was threatened with deportation during the call. “[They told me] if I don’t stop [they] will contact Immigration and get me deported,” he told NZ Herald.
Jayson chose to market his venture several times through the school’s mailing list – which he obtained without the staff’s knowledge – and sent emails through accounts linked back to him and several accomplices also enrolled at Macleans, all of whom received punishment.
Macleans College board of trustees chairman Richard Wilkie told NZ Herald “any student could sell second-hand uniforms through social media or other avenues, they were not limited to buying from the uniform shop”. However, he admitted the seriousness of the threats levelled against the former student, and said the board would seek to investigate them. “What really concerns me is that he has been contacted that he would be deported. We should see if that actually happened,” he said.
The issue has recently resurfaced following Fong’s attempts to relaunch the platform, which he took down soon after the initial phone call, in fears of his student visa being revoked. What followed was a second phone call, this time from principal Steven Hargreaves; one that Fong secretly recorded in fear of similar threats being levelled against him. NZ Herald was able to obtain this recording, and reports what transpired between the two parties.
“Look if you are a professional that marketed your business legally and professionally then I would talk to you. But at the moment you just seem like some person who wants to muckrake and cause trouble,” Hargreaves tells Fong in the recording. He later admitted to the Herald that he had no idea the conversation was recorded.
Since this, Jayson Fong has settled into marketing his buy-and-sell uniform scheme amongst a smaller, out-of-school community, and both parties have decided that no further legal action is required.