New Zealand’s Labour Party has pledged to reduce immigration by 20,000 to 30,000 people a year if it is successful in this year’s election.
Immigration has been growing at record levels in recent years under the ruling National Party. Since 2013, more than 130,000 people than expected have settled in New Zealand.
However, it would appear that Labour are not happy with the current situation, and Labour Party leader, Andrew Little, has now released his proposed immigration policy.
“Labour will make changes to immigration settings that will reduce net immigration by 20,000-30,000 a year,” Little revealed. “This will ease the pressures on New Zealand, and on Auckland, in particular. Without these changes, up to 10,000 more houses would be needed each year and up to 20,000 more cars would be on our roads each year.”
In what would be a blow to students, Little also says that he would cut-off a pathway to work after graduating arguing that under the current system “a 23 year old with a New Zealand diploma and three years’ experience in retail can get more points towards residency than a 45 year old Oncologist who wants to migrate here.”
Instead, he says that his party would better target skills shortages in regional areas. “Improved regionalisation of skills shortage lists and better enforcement of the Labour Market Test will make it easier for regions with genuine skills shortages to get the migrant workers they need,” he said.
They would also introduce a special new “KiwiBuild Visa” for construction workers to ensure it can carry out its Kiwibuild policy to build 100,000 houses over 10 years – half of which are intended for Auckland.
Despite the record levels of immigration, National believe that high migration is positive to New Zealand and have repeatedly pointed out that the numbers are skewed by large numbers of expat Kiwis returning to live in the country.
That said, last October Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse did increase the number of points skilled migrants needed to get residency from 140 to 160 and cut back numbers allowed under the family category.
The New Zealand General Election will take place on 23rd September.
Article published 12th June 2017