Immigration faucet needs safety valves

Issue 369 May 15, 2017

It is unfortunate that Immigration is becoming an emotional issue of supporting the migration of families and friends rather than a policy that drives to bring the best of talents and people who will be effective economic partners.

Worse, it is also being mentioned as the only alternative to get ‘labourers to do jobs that in which New Zealanders are no longer interested.’

Immigration should be a process that brings skills and drives them to become successful residents, begetting the next generation of skilled people.

That is how countries that are constituted by immigrants have progressed over the past century or so. And New Zealand has been a part of that process.

Indians abroad

People in India would know that young graduates left their shores from the 1940s through to the 1970s primarily to obtain high qualifications such as scientists, engineers, medical practitioners. Some of them returned home to become proficient in their professions; those who remained overseas (mainly in the USA, UK and later in Canada and Europe) pursued research with state or private funding not available in India at that time. They became innovators and wealth creators in organisations such as space research centres, institutes of Engineering, Medicine and Research and lately as software developers accentuating digital technology. Multinationals have thrived because of the human capital developed through migrant workforce- with high degrees obtained at internationally reputed institutions.

Creating the Talent Pool

If New Zealand is to be on a par with developed countries of the world, it should then create a pool of talent – a pool that rises continuously to promote higher levels of economic growth and achieve higher standard of living. We need to reinforce our country as a significant region of advanced research, quality scientific, engineering, medical and business practices so that our people can raise the future generations with greater pride and satisfaction.

Immigration will continue to drive the population and therefore the progress of this country. But that process of immigration should be directed by tenets of quality, education, high standards of character and competence. Quite simply, we have to lift the game to be world-class partners competing with the likes of America and Europe.

Opening the floodgates of immigration may be music to those who are advantaged by it, but as people, we should be able to control it to suit our needs over time.

Skillful management of immigration flow, with checks and controls in place, will ensure that New Zealand receives high quality people.

Mere slogans and citing Human Rights would not do. Immigration Lawyers and Immigration advisors should be able to advise the government on sustainable and need-based policies.

Every country in the Western World is raising the walls of immigration and introducing levies to filter the number and type of people seeking to migrate.

It may not come as a surprise if New Zealand follows suit.

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