I’ve had a lot of people asking me what The Opportunities Party’s (TOP) response is to the volley of executive orders issued by Donald Trump in his first week of office. Like many, I guess I have been surprised that he is moving so fast to “honour” the campaign promises he made, many of which seemed outrageous at the time – and of course he seems to have run into legal walls already, trying to ban residents from even returning to the US. Not bad for just one week in office.
The Opportunities Party has released its first two policy priorities – making New Zealand fair again and boosting incomes by limiting immigration and increasing its quality. Here’s the logic for you to contemplate over Christmas.
We’ve had some questions about our immigration policy TOP Policy #2: Smarter Immigration released last week. Remember the TOP test for immigrants is: if you can improve our standard of living we welcome you. If not, thanks but no thanks.
One particular issue we raised is that we have too much low skilled, temporary migration. There are signs that this level of temporary migration is having an impact on the bottom end of our labour market, and we will set out the evidence in this blog.
Attracting the right people
We already rely on migrants to a large degree – we have more than twice the OECD average of foreign born residents (19.5%) (OECD). However, we need to do a better job of attracting skilled migrants; when compared to countries with similar immigration policy such as Canada and Australia the overall skill base of New Zealand migrants is much lower (Melbourne University, 2014).
New Zealand is in a unique position of being able to cherry pick those that wish to immigrate to our shores. However, current trends see the government walking a tightrope, in terms of public opinion, on the record number of immigrants coming into New Zealand. In 2015/16 we had 69,100 official migrants (MBIE), the highest net gain in our history, and this number is only predicted to grow under the current scheme.