National Party Immigration Spokesperson Simon Bridges has welcomed the new Government’s major climb-down on its immigration policy as announced by Immigration Minister Ian Lees Galloway.
“This is a very significant u-turn. Prior to the election Labour was going to reduce migration by 20,000 to 30,000 people. New Zealand First was going to cut it by 60,000,” Mr Bridges says.
“Now less than two months later the Immigration Minister is saying ‘we are not fixated on the numbers’.
“This is a major shift in a core policy that needs a proper explanation from the Government.
“It’s great to see them starting to acknowledge and adopt the previous Government’s immigration policy, however how serious are they? And does the anti-immigrant party New Zealand First support this change?
“This flip flop has been coming over recent days and weeks as Labour has belatedly realised New Zealand’s high rate of employment and shortage of skilled labour.
“They’ve been talking of teachers’ visas, police visas, builders’ visas and so on. They’ve also slowly realised they can’t kneecap industries like tourism and international education with unrealistic immigration policies.
“Regions are crying out every other day for skills. The houses and roads won’t build themselves nor will the forests plant themselves.
“The Government needs to be clear about its immigration policy so Kiwi businesses can plan their growth with confidence.
“And then they need to tell us after this latest flip flop why New Zealanders should believe anything they say.”