Labour’s Immigration Policy musters support

Venkat Raman 

Never has there been an issue on which three important political parties find themselves on the same page, albeit singing a different note, as they have been on immigration.

New Zealand First has always called for severe curbs on ‘who we should take,’ while National has imposed income thresholds that will automatically bring down the number of migrant intake.

The Labour Party has gone a step further to announce a serious reduction in numbers, spelling out areas of limitations and region-biased visas to combat the severe housing and other shortages experienced by Auckland, orchestrated by unchecked settlement of new migrants and internal movement of people.

Bold initiatives

Announcing some bold initiatives on Monday, June 12, 2017, Labour Party Leader (also Leader of the Opposition) Andrew Little said that immigration has gone too far to warrant runaway growth and that reforms were needed to ensure that resources were available for effective management of people and resources.

Mr Little said that if his Party is elected to form the next government, he would introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs.

“Since 2013, immigration has been more than four times what was forecast – 130,000 more people than expected have settled here, equivalent to the population of Tauranga.

After nine years, National has failed to make the necessary investments in housing, infrastructure, and public services that are needed to cope with this rapid population growth. It has contributed to the housing crisis, put pressure on hospitals and schools, and added to congestion on roads,” he said.

Sustainable intake

“Immigration needs to be sustainable. We have always sought to manage immigration to match our economic needs with our capacity to cope with population growth” he added.

Indian Newslink carried details of the proposed Immigration Policy of Labour in its three independent web editions and on Social Media. They were also featured in our Bi-Weekly Newsletter, sent to more than 5000 subscribers every Wednesday and Saturday.

Among the other measures that form a part of the proposed Policy include selective approval of work visas to international students completing courses, targeting skills and expertise needed for New Zealand’s growth and enforcement of Labour Market Test.

Labour MP and Immigration spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said that most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) intend to stay in New Zealand to work.

Majority plan residence

According to the 2016 ‘International Student Barometer,’ of the 72% of international students who have a plan for after their course of study, 41% plan to stay in New Zealand. That is up from 35% in 2014. In comparison, just 22% of international students in other countries plan to stay in those countries after study. About 89% of international students say opportunities for long-term employment or residence where a factor in coming to study in New Zealand, compared to 79% in other countries,” he said.

Industry and reader response to Labour’s Immigration Policy will appear in our next issue.

 

Photo Caption: Labour Party Leader Andrew Little with Labour MP and Immigration Spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway at the Press Conference held on Monday, June 12 in Auckland.

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