The Opportunities Party (TOP) is today announcing its new Teal Visa proposal - the cornerstone of TOP’s immigration policy.
The effects of climate change are already causing major economic damage and social disruption - in New Zealand, the Pacific and more widely around the world. Millions of people are being displaced from homes and communities.
TOP takes a future focused approach to these challenges, and that’s where the Teal Visa comes in.
The Teal Visa will create a new climate change resettlement programme and generate funding for scholarships and research into global climate change effects and adaptation.
“We continue to see strong interest from high net worth individuals looking to move to New Zealand alongside their families, but the current Government approach to this category of people means we’re missing out on massive opportunities,” TOP Leader Raf Manji says.
Visa programmes currently require these individuals to invest in a range of financial products, such as bonds or stocks, and more recently into government-approved companies.
“This isn’t adding any value to us as a nation, and it’s often seen as a barrier to long-term investment too.
“TOP’s Teal Visa will apply to investors looking to relocate to New Zealand and has the potential to generate up to $300 million annually for a new resettlement programme for climate refugees, with an initial focus on the Pacific.
“The Teal Visa will help New Zealand to be a better neighbour to the Pacific, while also leveraging high net worth individuals and attracting new, quality investment into our country.
“Using high net worth individuals to create a multi-million dollar fund that can be used to support climate refugees, educational pathways for young people and climate research is smart, progressive policy,” Raf Manji says.
TOP’s Immigration Policy also includes:
TOP proposes to review the Accredited Employer Visa Scheme. The current system does not have the appropriate checks and balances and examples of migrant worker exploitation are becoming all too common. All companies should be pre-verified and then held accountable for personnel management to ensure New Zealand provides good working conditions for all our migrant workers.
A major complaint from businesses, including from our growing tech sector, has been that the salary bands for Straight to Residence Skilled Work visas are too high. TOP proposes to reduce the band down from $124,000 to $80,000 a year to help businesses use this pathway to attract skilled workers at an appropriate salary.
Our largest city, Auckland, is already under major pressure from a housing and infrastructure perspective so we need to attract skilled workers to other towns and cities across the country.
TOP would establish a Regional Talent Visa to allow regional business agencies, like ChristchurchNZ or Canterbury Tech, to recruit directly on behalf of local companies and sectors.
“TOP’s Immigration Policies are pragmatic and designed to work for our economy for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
“We’re committed to promoting fresh ideas and tackling the challenges our country is facing with bold, practical solutions,” Raf Manji says.
You can learn more about our policy proposals here.