Cunliffe still vague on immigration

Cunliffe was interviewed about immigration on Q & A on Sunday.

I’ve consistently said the same thing every day for the last two weeks, which is, Labour supports a well managed positive steady positive migration flow that is right for our communities.

Not cuts, no. No, I’m saying that with a high level of returning New Zealanders that sustainable flow will have to be set at higher levels than previous rules of thumb, and I have refused at all points to put a number or a target on it.

What we’re saying though that yoyoing migration flows all over the map, and the treasury says that whenever you get above 40,000 net you start having a discernible interest rate impact, that isn’t good for the migrant communities that are all living here, and it’s not good for New Zealanders who are paying mortgages.

The problem is that most of the yoyoing is movements of New Zealanders that can’t be controlled.

So the balance that always has to be struck in migration planning is the need to satisfy the skills needs of our economy and the legitimate humanitarian concerns of family reunion and our refuge commitments, which will not change. Which will not change.

Then getting that right in respect of the overall impact of the flow, and that’s a balancing act, that’s quite right.

Corin, I believe New Zealanders are mature enough to hear the words that are actually being said, not what the Prime Minister is making up, and not what others might have chosen to misinterpret.

Labour supports our migrant communities, we support a positive steady net inflow of migrants to reunify families, contributing to skills shortages being addressed, and to help build a vibrant economy.

What we do not support is a random approach where the current Government leaves it to the market and you end up destablising a lot of things including migrant communities.

“A random approach where the current Government leaves it to the market” is blatantly false claim.  Dann challenges Cunliffe on this.

Corin Dann: But it’s not random is it, that’s not true. They have a points system. They’re not randomly taking people in. Many people find it very difficult to get in here.

Cunliffe avoids responding and switches to something else.

David Cunliffe: I think you will find that even the current Government starts getting very uncomfortable if the numbers keep climbing, and I would challenge, ah, you and others to challenge the Prime Minister about whether there is a number beyond which he believes constraints should be brought to bear.

Corin Dann: To be clear, you’re saying that there is a limit, what, 50, 60 thousand net?

David Cunliffe: I’m not putting a number on it. I’m just saying you have to balance off the need to balance skills, the need for building strong and positive communities.

So Cunliffe avoided when challenged on blatant lie (the random/market  accusation), avoided explaining what numbers he would look at cutting, challenged to media to ask Key what number he thought should initiate restraints but refused to give any numbers himself.

Update: David Farrar at Kiwiblog provides a breakdown of immigration categories and asks So what will Labour cut?

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  1. Politics Daily | Homepaddock

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