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National still has no plan on immigration

Today’s release of latest immigration statistics is further proof the Government has absolutely no plan for immigration and its impact on New Zealand, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“The statistics show another year in which records have been broken – in January 2017 71,300 more permanent and long term migrants moved to New Zealand – an increase of 4.7 per cent in one year alone.

“A huge proportion of our new migrants, 56,231, are moving straight to Auckland, which is an 8.5 per cent lift from last year.

“A Government with a plan would know how to better distribute new migrants around our regions, take pressure off of Auckland housing and infrastructure, and provide workers to areas that need them.

“Migration has been one of the central drivers of rising house prices, which are now continuing throughout New Zealand as the Auckland housing crisis ripples out to the regions.

“And the people paying the price for National’s inability to plan for immigration include the 2,600 vulnerable Kiwi families needing to be housed in motels because there simply isn’t enough state or affordable housing to meet the needs of New Zealand families.

“The largest portion of migrants coming to New Zealand are those given temporary work visas – up 11 per cent in a year. National can’t simply spin the tired old line of ‘Kiwis coming home’ as the reason why New Zealand continues to set records in net migration.

“It’s clear Bill English has no plan for immigration and National can’t cope with the impacts on housing prices, infrastructure and the labour force. A major reason why so many migrants flock to Auckland is because the Government has no plan for regional economic development.

“Labour will create opportunities in the regions that will be attractive to high skilled migrants, such as our recently-announced Centre for Digital Excellence in Dunedin and a prefabricated building materials plant in Gisborne.

“Labour’s KiwiBuild programme would deliver 100,000 affordable homes for all New Zealanders across the country, providing much-needed housing stock for all New Zealanders, including our most recent arrivals,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.