Wellington, January 30, 2017
It is academic gobbledygook for anyone in New Zealand to believe 125,000 people settling here in a year is beneficial.
As children go back to school and principals struggle to find space and teachers for them the pro-market lobby group NZ Initiative has the gall to insist mass immigration is a plus for this country.
Theirs is a jaundiced and biased point of view. NZ infrastructure is under siege.
The NZ Initiative report, ‘The New New Zealanders, Why Migrants Make Good Kiwis,’claims the country benefits from migration, or at the very least is not worse off.
That is a completely nonsensical statement.
They claim there is little evidence to support the perception that immigrants steal jobs from Kiwis.
They are blind to the fact the face of service stations, supermarket counters, and the hospitality industry has changed, from an influx mainly over the past eight years of unskilled workers.
NZ Initiative has skewed its research to its advantage – to keep a lid on wages and add competition in the workforce.
The researchers deliberately ignore major inquiries, like the influential House of Lords committee which stated that record levels of immigration have had “little or no impact” on the economic well-being of Britons.
The OECD warned New Zealand several years ago that continued record unskilled migration would harm opportunities for ‘native workers.’
No one can deny that New Zealand is under strain from rapid population growth from immigration.
Hospitals are under pressure.
Lack of housing and high rental prices is this country’s shame.
New Zealand First stands by its long held belief that New Zealand must focus on skilled immigrants we need, and ensure that population growth is not out of kilter with the ability of housing, hospitals and schools and other services to cope.
Winston Peters is an elected Member of Parliament from Northland and Leader of New Zealand First Party in Parliament.