More skilled migrants needed for growth

June Ranson – 

New Zealand needs more skilled migrants and investment to maintain its economic growth and standard of living.

Editor’s Note: Ms Ranson was responding to a call made by New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament Winston Peters for permanent residence to be cut to 7000 to 15,000 people maximum. For additional reading on the subject, please go to Viewlink in this issue.

Mr Peters’ comments are ironic, given that permanent residence approvals were higher under Labour than National, and that they were at their highest when Mr Peters was supporting the Labour Government.

This fact surely makes a mockery out of his advice.

Declining births

The birth rate in New Zealand is dropping, baby boomers are retiring and for these reasons it is essential for us to have skilled migrants coming to the country if we want to maintain our standard economic growth and continue with our standard of living, for example, medical and superannuation.

New Zealand also has the situation that many small to medium-sized companies owned and operated by the baby boomers have no succession plans.

Do we want these companies to close down and put their staff out of work, simply because there is no one with the skills and knowledge to take them over?

Growing pains

New Zealand is currently going through growing pains as a result of a growth period – this is a good thing. The alternative is no growth at all.

Infrastructure has been neglected for years by successive governments and now at long last we are seeing movement happening to improve the infrastructure and this can be seen in any part of the country as you drive through.

Oddly, the very people who are demanding the skilled migrant numbers be cut are the same people who want refugee numbers increased.

This government has already cancelled the ‘Adult Child and Sibling Policy,’ which allowed sibling skilled or unskilled to join their families.

Importantly, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) does have a very tight check on who comes to NZ under permanent residence.

June Ranson is Chairperson of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI), which is a leading professional association for immigration specialists.  The Association comprises lawyers and licensed immigration advisers who must uphold professional standards and comply with the Association’s strict Code of Ethics. For more information, please visit www.nzami.co.nz.

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