Peters claims “immigration has fallen quite dramatically under this Government”

Immigration numbers were a big discussion point in last year’s election campaign. Labour campaigned last on reducing the number of immigrants coming to New Zealand – (April 2017): Andrew Little’s big call to cut 50,000 immigrants

“We have typically had inward migration, net migration of 20 to 25,000 – you want to target that sort of level,” Little says.

They revised that:

  • Cut number of immigrants by 20,000-30,000 from last year’s 74,200

That would have taken immigration numbers down to 44,000-54,000.

Winston Peters campaigned on a more drastic cut. From where do the parties stand on immigration?

NZ First leader Winston Peters has vowed to drastically reduce net immigration well below what Labour wants, to a net migration level of around 10,000 a year.

His message to voters who want a big drop in immigration levels is that Labour can’t be trusted, given they had only recently called for sizeable cuts, and National will continue the “economic treason” of “mass immigration”.

RNZ (October 2017): NZ First loses battle on migrant numbers

…the party was less successful in its push to cut net immigration to just 10,000 a year.

Instead, the agreement sticks to Labour’s plan to reduce net migration by 20,000 to 30,000.

In a Q+A interview 31 July 2018:

Corrin Dann: How is it fair, for those struggling to get into houses in Auckland,  that you are continuing, your Government, to run a policy of record migration levels, a boom that is continuing?

Winston Peters: You can’t get away with that. The record was seventy two thousand eight hundred.

Corrin Dann: And now it’s sixty five.

Winston Peters: Sixty five and falling, yes, And it’ll be far more focussed now, and it will possibly focus come all the way down another thirty, in all about between twenty five and thirty thousand, somewhere in that region. But we’ve also got to watch the employment market to ensure that none of our export product is being hindered by a lack of staff.

That’s likely to be acknowledging the need for dairy farm workers, vineyard workers, fruit pickers.

Corrin Dann: You told your supporters you wanted it at ten thousand.

Winston Peters: Yeah well I lost the argument because I didn’t get enough votes because people like you said it wouldn’t work. Now you say it will.

In an interview on Newstalk XB perhaps ironically headlined Misinformation around the UN migration compact is wrong Larry Williams (on National Party reaction to the UN Compact on Immigration being agreed to by the Government, “Well they’ve stated today, simon bridges told me they’ll scrap they, they will rescind it if the become the Government. What do you say about that?”

Winston Peters:

“Well they won’t, they were the ones that started this.

“And I might add, immigration has fallen quite dramatically under this Government. It was rising under the last Government. That’s what I say about that sort of dog whistle statement”

Net migration has fallen in the last year, but I wouldn’t call it a drastic fall. Stats NZ: Net migration is lowest since 2015

Annual net migration has eased to its lowest level in three years, Stats NZ said today. For the year ended October 2018, it fell to 61,800.

Overall, net migration was down 8,900 from the October 2017 year, reflecting both fewer migrants arriving in New Zealand and more leaving the country.

For the October 2018 year compared with the October 2017 year:

  • migrant arrivals were 128,100, down 3,500
  • migrant departures were 66,400, up 5,400.

And this monthly net migration chart shows a slight trend downwards.

That doesn’t look like “immigration has fallen quite dramatically under this Government”.