Reactions to Labour’s immigration policy

Labour announced their immigration policy yesterday – see Little announces Labour’s immigration policy.

Greens are usually quick to respond to political news of the day but have nothing on their website about it yet.

NZ Herald:  English says Labour’s immigration ‘breather’ would stall momentum in the economy

Prime Minister Bill English’s strenuous opposition to Labour’s proposed “breather” in immigration draws a clear battle-line in the election.

Labour leader Andrew Little wants net migration cut from the current 70,000 a year by up to 30,000 – mainly targeting overseas students – saying it will relieve pressure on Auckland road by 20,000 cars and 10,000 houses annually.

But English says Labour’s policy is based on a misunderstanding of the export education sector – 70 per cent to 80 per cent of such students left New Zealand at the end of their study, the students did not buy houses and not many had cars.

English also said the cut would stall the momentum in the economy which was producing 10,000 new jobs every month.

RNZ:  Labour’s immigration policy could ruin colleges – industry

Up to 70 percent of private training colleges could collapse if Labour’s new immigration policy is implemented, an organisation representing the industry says.

The Labour Party’s policy targets international students on low-level courses, in a bid to cut down migration by up to 30,000 people a year.

Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand, which represents the industry, predicts up to 70 percent of the sector’s business could collapse.

Chairperson Christine Clark said targeting private training establishments (PTEs) would not solve the problem.

She said Mr Little had confused low level with low quality, and the policy sent a message that people who studied at PTEs were low-level people.

“By saying low level, he’s also targeting the providers who are training the chefs and training the barristers and the technicians and the horticultural people and the farmers and the caregivers.

“New Zealand actually needs those people.”

Dave Guerin from Ed Insider, a company which gives advice to tertiary education groups, said polytechnics would also be in trouble.

“Polytechnics are heavily reliant on the Indian and Chinese market. In some places they make up 80 to 90 percent of their international students.

“I’ve just gone through most of the polytechnic sector’s annual reports. Most of them are seeing growth in international students and declines in domestic students, so if they see a decline in international student then they’ll be in the red financially.”

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman said about 20 percent of its workers were on student visas.

Mr Chapman liked Labour’s idea of a visa system which would help people get more jobs in the regions, but said the overall policy did not promote growth.

“The whole policy needs to recognise that we do need skilled workers in this country, be they Kiwis or [through] immigration. We need that balance.

“Any policy that pushes down and stops growth is not assisting the industry going forward.”

RNZ:  ‘Pandering’: Rival MPs criticise Labour immigration plan

United Future leader Peter Dunne…

…said Labour’s plan was “really all about race and pandering to a certain section of the vote”.

“It’s a nod and a wink to try to get New Zealand First on side.

“But frankly it’s going to have a detrimental effect on a number of tertiary institutions in terms of their funding [and] also in terms of the skillset coming into New Zealand.”

ACT leader David Seymour…

…said it was a sad day when “the major opposition party starts beating the race drum”.

“They’ve clearly been watching the UK election. They’ve seen UK Labour do well from the collapse of UKIP [United Kingdom Independence Party]. They’re getting desperate.

“They think that maybe they can engineer something like that by moving into New Zealand First’s territory.”

The Green Party…

…is worried some might see the policy as a pitch to xenophobia, but has come to Labour’s defence.

Co-leader James Shaw said he did not think that was where Labour was coming from.

“They’ve done a lot of work and they’ve come a long way from where they were in this debate.

“My sense is that they are trying to reframe the debate as one about how we manage this for the sake of the people who are coming here.”

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters…

…said Labour had finally seen the light.

“But when we were saying it, we were being dumped on by all and sundry, and now all of a sudden the lightbulb’s gone off.

“They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and that’s about the size of it.”

Andrew Little has just been asked on RNZ what endorsement of Labour’s immigration policy by Peters meant. Little said he was happy to get support for the policy from anyone.



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  1. NOEL

     /  June 13, 2017

    If the Private Colleges were to advertise their wares with a dusclaimer that there would be no residency allowed after completion of the course there would also be a 70 percent reduction.

    Lets have some honesty around this debate.

    • Gezza

       /  June 13, 2017

      Let’s see the numbers. Claim & counterclaim. No flocking reliable data.

  2. Gezza

     /  June 13, 2017

    (“But when we were saying it, we were being dumped on by all and sundry, and now all of a sudden the lightbulb’s gone off.”

    I like reading Winston’s comments. When he says it, on the telly or the radio, you know what he means. When you read it – sometimes he actually says the opposite to what he actually means.)

  3. Jay3

     /  June 13, 2017

    Targeting a reduction in students attending low-level training courses, including of course English language courses is pretty obviously designed to clamp down on the number of Asians coming into the country. At the moment some of these people do go on to obtain residency and join the largely hardworking, aspirational Asian immigrant communities already here. Recent polls in the ethnic press suggest these people are not natural Labour Party supporters so I guess Labour doesn’t see too much downside in indulging in a bit of racism.

    • We’re coming to expect such blatant white-favouring,such anti Asian xenophobia from them. Shocking.

    • Blazer

       /  June 13, 2017

      you see what you want to…see.Typical response from a Natz fanbois .Typical of the NATZ….kick the can down the…road.Irresponsible and visionless ,expedient seat warmers.

      • What’s that ad hominem statement have to do with the draconian exclusive club of well heeled/skilled migrants your lot wants to restrict entry to!

  4. Blazer

     /  June 13, 2017

    2 huge problems………. housing and immigration.
    2 huge drivers of GDP…housing and immigration.
    2 things National ignore….housing and immigration.

  5. It’s a worry when you consider we’ve dipped under replacement birth level. It’ll just be a brake on our economy. Apart from Australia we have about the most skill targeted immigration system in the world. Talk about sad, dogwhistle policy. Nobody can claim that Labour is “left” or “liberal” anymore. Corbyn would recoil from such blatant nationalism and parochialism.

  6. Blazer

     /  June 13, 2017

    Country Long Term Gain 2016
    India 11,300
    China 10,100
    Philippines 4,900
    United Kingdom 4,400
    South Africa 3,200

    anything racist there?

    • Having a fair deal of experience in the logistics industry, I can assure you that trick driving is an area where Polynesians and Maoris excel. I’m know the industry pushes hugely in schools, but if there’s not enough, there’s not enough. What is your beef? Not happy with importing “low level” workers as Andy calls them?

      • Blazer

         /  June 13, 2017

        How many Polynesians or Maori are there. .unemployed. .darling?

        • patupaiarehe

           /  June 13, 2017

          Rather than putting your effort into ‘baiting hooks’, Blazer, why not articulate an intelligent opposing opinion? Given some previous efforts, you are quite capable of doing so…

          • patupaiarehe

             /  June 13, 2017

            The thing about driving a heavy vehicle, is that it is nothing like driving a car. At all. Make a mistake driving a car in town, and you could injure someone. Do the same, in even a small truck, and you could kill a whole family. The ‘two second rule’, becomes ‘the twelve second rule’, when you are rolling down the highway, with close to 50 tons behind you. When riding a motorbike in this country, adopting the attitude that “everyone else on the road wants to kill me”, will almost ensure your survival. When driving a truck, adopting the attitude that “everyone else on the road is suicidal”, will serve you well. Driving a heavy vehicle, is a ‘trade’, which should be reserved, for those who are trained here.

    • patupaiarehe

       /  June 13, 2017

      Thanks for that link Noel, it is just proof of what most Kiwis are witnessing already. A loophole in immigration law is allowing unskilled workers in, posing as students, while qualified & talented migrants, have to battle to stay here.

  7. Tipene

     /  June 13, 2017

    These changes come soon enough – the private PTE’s enroll the students who the Universities and Polytechnics reject.

    These students (the majority of them Indian) lie about their English proficiency, lie about their interest in their chosen course of “study”, lie about the amount of money they have to support themselves when they apply to come here, lie about the amount of hours they are working once they get here, lie about them being the authors of the assignments they are handing in (spinball and Google translate of someone else’s work, anyone?), lie about their intentions for staying here, lie about the amount of effort they are actually putting into study, and then when they get caught, they plead racism, unfair disadvantage, and (fill in the blank for the latest family crises back in Hyderabad, or wherever).

    They bring a corrupt culture with them, and they have successfully compromised education in NZ to such an extent, that employers in the main won’t touch them, and won’t recognise their acclaimed “NZQA-ratified” qualifications.

    By last count, around 81 PTE’s were under investigation -and that’s probably the tip of the iceberg:

    And the mainstream providers are not much better:

    NZQA needs to be disbanded as well – they enable the whole rort.