National’s latest tinkering with the immigration system is another attempt to create the appearance of action without actually doing anything meaningful, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.
“New Zealand is richer for immigration, but our public services, housing, and infrastructure can’t keep up with the current record level of immigration. We need to take a breather and catch up. We need to fix the immigration system to reduce the number of low-skill migrants coming into the country, while still bringing in the skilled workers we need.
“National’s latest tinkering will not deliver that.
“National’s changes don’t address the huge numbers of people coming here to do low level qualifications or low skill work, then using those visas as a stepping-stone to residency. National’s announcement won’t change the fact we are issuing over 6,000 work visas for labourers a year when we have thousands of unemployed labourers in this country already.
“New Zealand does need skilled migrants to help our economy grow and contribute to fixing the housing crisis. National’s move to make it harder to bring in people to fill jobs in areas of absolute skills shortages and in future growth areas is bizarre.
“This is a typical Bill English move. No vision. No leadership. No fix for the problem.
“Immigration should be a win-win, giving migrants a better life and strengthening the economy. National has managed to make it a lose-lose: A housing shortage, clogged roads, and depressed wages.
“New Zealand needs a fresh approach to immigration. Labour’s immigration policy will reduce overall numbers, stop the rorts that allow low-skill people to get residency, make it easier to get the skilled workers we need, and invest in training our own people to do the work our economy needs,” says Andrew Little.