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Time for a breather on immigration

National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“Labour will take a breather on immigration while making record investments in housing, health, education, and infrastructure. We will close down the backdoor route to residency through low-level courses and low-value work.

“We will better focus skills shortages lists on the skills that regions actually need – so that businesses who genuinely can’t find a New Zealander can hire from overseas, but the system isn’t abused. While regions are crying out for more working people to contribute to their economy and community, Auckland is struggling with the pressure of record population growth. Labour's policies will stimulate regional growth while reducing pressure on Auckland by encouraging more migrants to settle in the regions.

“Labour’s sensible immigration reforms will ease the pressure of record population growth, while we catch up on years of under-investment and build a better New Zealand.

“Net immigration into Auckland is now over 100 people a day, with the city’s population growing by 120 a day in total. Yet National is planning to build just one affordable house a day.

“National has been caught napping, and it is New Zealanders - both old and new - paying the price for their lack of preparation. Auckland is short 40,000 houses and that shortage grows by the day, leading to 24,000 Aucklanders being homeless and soaring housing costs. Auckland’s hospitals are over capacity and the government doesn’t have enough teachers for the number of kids in Auckland schools.

“National have had nine years, and they don’t have a clue. It’s time for Labour’s fresh approach,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.