Little announces Labour’s immigration policy

Andrew Little has announced Labour’s immigration policy:


Time for a breather on immigration

Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“New Zealand is a country built on immigration. When new migrants come here, they enrich our country and make New Zealand a better place. We’ve always welcomed migrants to our country, and will continue to do so.

“In recent years, our population has been growing rapidly as record numbers of migrants arrive here. National didn’t foresee this and hasn’t planned for the impact it’s having on our country. Since 2013, immigration has been more than four times what was forecast – 130,000 more people than expected have settled here, equivalent to the population of Tauranga.

“After nine years, National has failed to make the necessary investments in housing, infrastructure, and public services that are needed to cope with this rapid population growth. It’s contributed to the housing crisis, put pressure on hospitals and schools, and added to congestion on roads.

“Immigration needs to be sustainable. We’ve always sought to manage immigration to match our economic needs with our capacity to cope with population growth. We reviewed the system from top to bottom and found that several areas were being abused and not delivering the results Kiwis expect.

“National has taken its eye off the ball; Labour will get the balance right. It’s time for a fresh approach. Labour will make changes to immigration settings that will reduce net immigration by 20,000-30,000 a year.

“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.

“National’s policies have created a backdoor to residency via low-level study and low-skill work. These have had the perverse effect that 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. A third of international students studying at PTEs say they plan to work or seek residency here after study.

“Closing off the ability to work during and after study for people who do low-level courses will stop backdoor immigration. We will end the culture of exploitation and corruption that’s grown up to prey on people using this route to come to New Zealand.

“Our changes will ensure New Zealand gets the skills it needs and we continue to grow the high quality education sector.

“As part of this we will better target skills shortages to regions. 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.

“At the same, time Labour will make it easier for people with exceptional skills and talents to come to New Zealand with a new Exceptional Skills Visa. We’ll also create a KiwiBuild Visa specifically targeted at building tradespeople. The KiwiBuild Visa will allow building firms to bring in skilled workers as long as they also train the same number of New Zealanders and will be additional to construction work visas issued under existing rules.

“New Zealand is rightly proud of its immigrant communities and the contribution they make to our country. But we need to take a breather and get the balance right. Labour’s fresh approach will ensure the immigration system works for everyone,” says Andrew Little.

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18 Comments

  1. Oliver

     /  June 12, 2017

    I work in immigration and I think this policy is very reasonable and well thought out. It’s about time politicians did something about the immigration debacle. Well done Andrew. TOP also has a great immigration plan.

    Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  June 12, 2017

    “We’ll also create a KiwiBuild Visa specifically targeted at building tradespeople. The KiwiBuild Visa will allow building firms to bring in skilled workers as long as they also train the same number of New Zealanders and will be additional to construction work visas issued under existing rules.”

    Bridges the short fall in trades but who will oversee that the skilled workers are just that?

    There are enough cowboys now.

    Reply
  3. David

     /  June 12, 2017

    Good policy, well done Labour. National have been woeful in regards to the low level courses that everyone knows are a scam including the Indian who filled up my car last week at Z who had done a management course 3 years prior at SIT.

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  June 12, 2017

      Agreed David, this is an oddly coherent strategy from labour. More like this will see them lift two or three points

      Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  June 12, 2017

    Labour strategy misfires again…doubling the refugee numbers is a …vote loser and did not need to be announced before the …election.Unbelievable.

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  June 12, 2017

      Labour plays snakes and ladders. One coherent strategy followed by a brain fart

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  June 12, 2017

      For once you make sense Blazer – doubling refugee numbers shows they are still out of touch…..

      Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  June 12, 2017

    It’s a good policy. How it will work in practice & how quickly it can be implemented is the test. The right combination of skill proxies & discretion levels may be key. One hopes it might gain traction quickly so that if looking a serious challenge to the shambles National runs, National might think again, just in case their next electoral experience is not as comfortable as they might’ve hoped.

    Reply
  6. alloytoo

     /  June 12, 2017

    This is a incoherent mismash of wishes topped off by promises to close a loophole that the government closed almost a year ago.proving once again that that Labour have their eye off the ball and are living at least 9 months in the past.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  June 12, 2017

      Yep – current National policy already addresses this issue…………also as English said on Labour’s proposed ‘Kiwibuild visa’: “They’re talking about 1000 to 1500 KiwiBuild visas. Mate, who thinks you can build 100,000 houses with another 1000 people, that’s completely unrealistic,” Mr English said.”

      Too true.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  June 12, 2017

        Is it? How many can we build at the moment if they get land supply sorted with the current skilled construction labour supply? What chances the rate can be increased by more efficient designs, methods (prefab) & materials? (Don’t know, just curious if anyone does know)

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  June 12, 2017

        how many people does it take to build a house?1500 plus 1500 ‘learners’ =3000..I would guess on ly 3 or 4 are needed to build a house(builders only)..how long to build a house?A target of an extra 10,000 a year ,including existing workforce,sounds ..doable.But as Clone pointed out ,demand can be dampened by a few simple ..measures.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  June 12, 2017

      what loophole are you talking about?National policy is consistent…too little..too late.Remember Keys 4 point plan revealed in 2007!!!10 years …ago.

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 12, 2017

    Sounds like the usual centrist arrogant delusion that bureaucrats and politicians can pick winners better than the market.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  June 12, 2017

      the market’ gave us the..GFC…Al.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  June 12, 2017

        Politicians looking after their rich mates rather than letting them sink or swim on their own. Next stupid statement please..

        Reply

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