How many people do you want living in New Zealand?

Firstly an admission - personally I don’t want 10 million people living in New Zealand which is how many the current rate of immigration will deliver in 40 years. One of the things I love about coming back here from overseas is the fact that we have so much space. But that is just my selfish opinion, and this is a democracy. I’m interested to hear what other people think and why. 

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Responsible Immigration: Sorting Fact From Fiction

On the back of National’s tinkering and the kneejerk reaction from Labour and New Zealand First, immigration looks set to be an election issue. It certainly is important, but we need to have a conversation based on the facts, rather than hysteria and xenophobia. Let’s review a few of the facts in light of the announcements in recent days.

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Immigration Policy Still Mad

It’s great news the Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse has indicated some tightening of immigration laws. That he has acknowledged that people on the median wage or lower are perhaps not as skilled a category of immigrant as New Zealand needs, is a long overdue admission that National’s immigration policy is about as far from a skill-based strategy as one could get. So that’s progress.

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Why Trump’s immigration policies are an opportunity for NZ

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.

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Immigration challenges in the tech sector

TOP Policy #2: Smarter Immigration talked about clamping down on some of the immigration rorts that are letting in too many low skilled people to the country. But we also talked about making it easier for Aotearoa New Zealand to be the place that talent wants to live. 

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TOP's Views On Young Immigration To New Zealand

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.

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Impact of Temporary Migration on NZ

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.

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New Zealand Migration Trends - What the data says

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. 

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