Aotearoa New Zealand is a special place. Part of that charm is our remoteness, the beauty of our natural environment, and perhaps most important of all, our low population.
Immigration is important to New Zealand’s development – the fact that around 25% of our workforce wasn’t born here is testimony to that. Migrants can be beneficial to an economy, particularly if they are highly skilled. Used properly, immigration will help underwrite economic growth and prosperity, and help us manage the pressures of an ageing population.
The TOP test for immigrants is: if you can improve our standard of living we welcome you. If not, thanks but no thanks.
Immigration should not be driven by student visas, nor reciprocal visitor working visas it should only be about whether the immigrant benefits us. Of course migrants accepted for humanitarian reasons are a separate issue.
We need to focus on skilled people that are looking for a more liberal and tolerant society in the wake of Brexit, Trump and the march of ugly nationalism engulfing Europe. We must seize this opportunity to make New Zealand the place where ‘talent wants to live’. Why “talent”? Because it creates jobs and incomes for New Zealanders.
TOP will make it quicker and simpler for truly skilled people to live and work here. This will require changes to our visa regime, and international brand. The latter needs to present us as a tech-savvy nation with great lifestyles, to markets such as Europe, the UK, Asia and the US.
There’s a big downside from too many migrants, particularly if they are working in low-skilled jobs. Establishment parties have wrecked New Zealand’s immigration policy by making it a tool of what they believed was a lucrative foreign education industry. But we’ve ended up selling low quality education packages to desperate economic refugees from India and China. Foreign students have been granted the right to work here while studying and they then stay on in jobs (any jobs that is – glorified dishwashers is a favourite) to get more points to qualify for residency. Government has lifted points for work experience to 60 of the 160 required! It’s a policy rife with rorts, there’s a steady stream of them being reported or investigated. This is not trivial as Ministers are claiming, the regime is rotten.
Details of the failure of immigration policy are in our Immigration Description paper.
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