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Labour’s reprehensible demonisation of foreigners prior to the election has been laid bare by confirmation today that its promise to slash migration was nothing but a cynical attempt to win votes from NZ First, National’s Judith Collins and Michael Woodhouse say.

“Prior to the election Labour cynically blamed foreigners for rising house prices, including through its infamous ‘Chinese-sounding surnames’ campaign, and it threatened to slash the number of migrants by up to 30,000 a year,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“All along employers and the National Party told them they were wrong and that we needed the skills and capital those migrants bring.

“Today Labour has admitted they were wrong when they said we needed to ‘take a breather’ and while we welcome the belated realisation, the fact is the changes announced today are nothing more than a branding exercise.

“Construction sector occupations were already on the skills shortage lists meaning it was already easier for construction workers to come here because National knew they were important all along.”

“The announcement comes after Housing Minister Phil Twyford yesterday told Parliament there were no plans to bring foreign tradespeople into New Zealand to work on KiwiBuild houses,” Ms Collins says.

“This indicates either an unwillingness to tell the truth or that Mr Twyford didn’t know his own policy or what his colleagues were doing.

“KiwiBuild has staggered from failure to failure and Mr Twyford has continued to show he has no idea what he’s doing.

“In the last few days he’s confirmed some KiwiBuild-backed apartments might be sold to foreigners, that they might be built by foreign flat-pack companies, that he’s been meeting with Chinese banks to fund them and now he says they’re going to be built by foreigners.

“This is a shameless climbdown and there’s nothing Kiwi left in KiwiBuild.”

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