The vacuum that is the new Government’s immigration policy must be filled so it stops choking off regional growth opportunities, National Party Immigration Spokesperson Simon Bridges says.

“We are seeing story after story around regional New Zealand that businesses can’t find enough workers,” Mr Bridges says.

“Just in recent days, businesses in Nelson, Queenstown and Mid Canterbury amongst others have all put up their hands saying they can’t find staff.

“Yet there is real confusion on the Government’s immigration policy and whether it will help fill the labour shortages in regional New Zealand.

“This week the Immigration Minister has again muttered something about regional skills lists, yet he’s still saying Labour will cut immigration by 20-30,000 a year.

“And again, no detail on either statement.

“Small and medium sized businesses can’t grow in a vacuum. They need certainty and this is another area where the Government isn’t providing any.

“We are seeing business confidence around the country suffer under this Government and the number one cause is policy uncertainty.

“They need to step up and make some strong positive decisions on immigration policy for regional New Zealand and remove at least one of the handbrakes on confidence and growth in our provinces.”

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