Labour’s immigration policy

Written By: - Date published: 3:46 pm, June 12th, 2017 - 94 comments
Categories: im/migration, labour - Tags: ,

Labour has released new immigration policy:

Making immigration work for New Zealand

New Zealand is a country built on immigration. Migrants bring to New Zealand the skills we need to grow our economy and vibrant cultures that enrich our society.

Good start.

We have always welcomed migrants to our country, and will continue to do so. But in recent years our population has been growing rapidly as record numbers of migrants arrive here. This has happened without the Government planning for the impact immigration is having on our country. After nine years, National has failed to make the necessary investments in housing, infrastructure, and public services that are needed to cope with rapid population growth. This has contributed to the housing crisis, put pressure on hospitals and schools, and added to the congestion on roads.

Labour will invest in housing, infrastructure, public services, and in training New Zealanders to fill skills shortages. At the same time, we will take a breather on immigration. We will do this by making sure that work visas are not being abused to fill low-skill, low-paid jobs, while ensuring that businesses can get the skilled workers they need.

Labour will:

• Ensure that businesses are able to get genuinely skilled migrants when they need them. This will include introducing an Exceptional Skills Visa for highly skilled or talented people and introducing a KiwiBuild Visa for residential construction firms who train a local when they hire a worker from overseas.

• Strengthen the Labour Market Test for work visas so they are not being used for jobs Kiwis can do, and make our skills shortage lists more regional so migrants coming in under them can only live and work in areas where there is a genuine skills shortage.

• Require courses for international students to be high-quality, remove the ability to work for international students in low-level courses except where the work is approved as part of their study, and remove the ability to get a work visa without a job for those who have completed study below university level. …

Read on for details and specifics.

In The Herald:

Labour’s immigration policy targets 22,000 foreign students – but gives to migrants with experience

Labour leader Andrew Little released Labour’s new immigration policy in Auckland today, saying an “industry” of low-value courses had developed in New Zealand as a back door for immigration and it was damaging the country’s reputation.

The policy includes halting student visas for courses considered to be “low value” – a step Little said was to clamp down on “sham” courses which were a back door to residency.

While Labour is aiming to cut the numbers of young, unskilled or inexperienced workers, it is also making changes to bring in highly skilled or experienced workers – including a new ‘Exceptional Skills Visa” for up to 1000 people a year.

That is for those with significant experience or qualifications, or who were internationally renowned for their talents – in any field, not simply those who will contribute to the economy.

Labour is also proposing a “Kiwibuild Visa” for residential construction firms who agree to pay the living wage to an overseas worker and take on an apprentice for every foreign worker they employ – it has estimated that would bring in a further 1000 construction workers on top of current levels (about 7000 a year).

The bonus points given to skilled migrants who had studied or worked in New Zealand would no longer be given and points for age (which currently favours younger migrants) would be standardised to 30 for everyone under 45 – a measure Labour said would ensure older, more experienced workers from overseas were not at a disadvantage to recent graduates or temporary workers already in New Zealand.

Little said the reforms were “moderate and sensible” and aimed at reducing pressure on the cities while ensuring skilled workers continued to come. He said National’s policies had created a back door to residency through low-value study and work. …

Coverage by Stuff chose to highlight one angle:

Labour unveils plans to stop foreign students’ ‘backdoor immigration’ rort

Immigration restrictions on overseas students rorting the visa scheme as a “backdoor entry” into New Zealand would block up to 30,000 at the borders, Labour says.

The party has unveiled a major new immigration policy, which proposes tightening rules to limit student visas, remove work visas for some international graduates without job offers at the end of their course and regionalise the occupation list for all work visas.

“Closing off the ability to work during and after study for people who do low-level courses will stop backdoor immigration,” leader Andrew Little said.

Current immigration settings had “the perverse effect that a 23-year-old with a New Zealand diploma and three years’ experience in retail can get more points towards residency than a 45-year-old oncologist who wants to migrate here”. …

Cleaning up the mess that is far too much of the private tertiary education sector in NZ is long overdue.

I haven’t had time to digest it all yet, but on first impressions Labour has done a good job of trying to balance the needs: to acknowledge the positive role of immigration in NZ, slow down immigration while infrastructure catches up, and target immigration effectively.

PS – Check out The Spinoff- With the election looming, a new poll reveals New Zealanders’ views on immigration – some very interesting stuff.

94 comments on “Labour’s immigration policy”

  1. Skinny 1

    “He also criticised National for creating “a backdoor to residency via low-level study and low-skill work.”

    Just like the National Government property ponzi scheme.

    https://www.change.org/p/nz-prime-minister-bill-english-national-government-listen-to-kiwis-slash-immigration/u/20520698

  2. Yep. All things said and done, Labour gets my vote this September.

    Sooner or later something has to be done about all these abuses going on. It should be a privilege to come here , – not left up to some back room connivers to scheme how to get around laws, exploit loopholes and otherwise scam their way to making cash out of immigrants.

    And to OUR detriment.

  3. Honest 3

    This seems reasonable, but it wouldn’t hurt to emphasise that it isn’t just a matter of turning off a tap. The first thing will be to halt abuses. Smart policies to encourage and enable business and other relocation to smaller towns etc etc. Beyond that, people coming under the young traveller schemes will not be affected, as they tend to travel around the country. It must be made clear that this is a rapier rather than a blunderbuss policy.

  4. saveNZ 4

    Looks fair to me. I’d like to see more migrants targeted who might create jobs rather than take them. i.e. entrepreneur types who have been successful rather than the current obsession on people being imported in for jobs that are not what most people think are skilled and can be learn’t within a few years in a course or on job training.

    Also like to see maybe a emerging skills category like renewable energy experts and the like. If we want to encourage ‘the new economy’ and create jobs. At present a lot of migrants seem to be about construction but we are not building affordable houses for locals most of the time. It’s also not positive relying on disasters to create economic gains. Also what happens to all the thousands of construction workers when we run out of building houses and the next bust happens? That type of skill should just be on a temporary 3 year visa unless they are at an advanced level such as the German builders.

    This is an excellent idea,

    “While Labour is aiming to cut the numbers of young, unskilled or inexperienced workers, it is also making changes to bring in highly skilled or experienced workers – including a new ‘Exceptional Skills Visa” for up to 1000 people a year.

    That is for those with significant experience or qualifications, or who were internationally renowned for their talents – in any field, not simply those who will contribute to the economy.”

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Looks fair to me. I’d like to see more migrants targeted who might create jobs rather than take them. i.e. entrepreneur types who have been successful

      Or we could provide support for our own entrepreneurs. It’s not just rich people. In fact, they’re the least likely to have new ideas and innovation is a numbers game – the more ideas you have the more innovation.

      Also like to see maybe a emerging skills category like renewable energy experts and the like.

      Or we could train up our own people so that they have the necessary skills and then support them with government R&D – the same way that the has done and US does.

      Our real problem is that we’re not supporting our people to develop our economy and are hoping that someone from outside will come along and do it for us – and that’s a recipe for failure.

  5. Bill 5

    If it’s true that National has failed to make the necessary investments in housing, infrastructure, and public services that are needed to cope with rapid population growth (as opposed to National have just let everything tank and things are fucked regardless of immigrant numbers as I suspect), then how does this plan to remove the ability to work for international students in low-level courses alleviate or address that problem in any way, shape or form?

    Similarly, how does insisting that migrants coming in under (the Labour Market Test for visas) can only live and work in (prescribed) areas address run-down infrastructure and services?

    Actually I’m walking away from this.

    NZ LAbour seem to have adopted Milibands “We’ll be tough on immigration too” bullshit and are takng a position on immigration that’s not a million miles distant from UKIPs.

    The following may not be a word perfect quote, but it’s very close – “It’s about immigration policy not immigrants” said both Paul Nuttal (UKIP) and Grant Robertson (NZ Labour). (The former got howled down)

    The message from Labour is the same as from UKIP and that is that you had better not be a Filipino care nurse or any such like.

    Raise fucking wages and sort the woeful Employment Legislation that enables employers to screw employees over instead of fucking over the world’s poorer people!

    We will do this by making sure that work visas are not being abused to fill low-skill, low-paid jobs, while ensuring that businesses can get the skilled workers they need.

    Try reading p28 of the UK Labour Manifesto to see what sentiments and measures an immigration policy should embody ffs.
    http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/Images/manifesto-2017/labour-manifesto-2017.pdf

    • ‘ Raise fucking wages and sort the woeful Employment Legislation that enables employers to screw employees over instead of fucking over the world’s poorer people! ‘

      Exactly. The most pernicious anti worker piece of legislation ever passed being of course the Employment Contracts Act which was then morphed into the Employment Relations Act needs to be thrown out. And a return to collective bargaining and compulsory trade union membership.

      However I would think that the two need to be done in tandem. We cant have foreign immigrants being treated like slaves and we cant have both them and our nationals having to sleep in cars because of a housing crisis created by the neo liberals in the first place.

      Not a lot of good if you have great wages with no place to stay – barring you can pay for a house to be built immediately somewhere’s – and put up with freezing to death while sleeping in some inner city allyway while waiting for it to be built…

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Yes . But why scapegoat immigrants off the back of economic mismanagement as this immigration policy does?

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          *sigh* face reality. You can’t make things happening by wishing for it. You have to plan anything that requires time and resources. So read down the following and tell me which are incorrect.

          1. Holders of kiwi passports have an automatic right to come here. Immigrants do not.

          2. We exported a hell of a lot of holders of kiwi passports over the last 30 years, mostly to aussie. They are coming back at a fast rate now.

          3. Both holders of kiwi passports and immigrants use roughly the same infrastructure resources.

          4. The current infrastructure is incapable of handling the existing population. Right now this is pretty damn obvious to any Aucklander.

          5. We have for the last few years been getting 70 thousand nett migration whilst managing to build infrastructure for about a third of that level.

          6. We can’t ramp up infrastructure in the areas where migrants and immigrants want to go to as fast as we have been getting inwards migration in the last 5 years. This isn’t a matter of money, it is a matter of both lead-time and money.

          7. Effectively we can adjust immigration, whereas we can’t adjust the return of holder of kiwi passports (see my note at the bottom).

          8. So tough shit on immigration – it gets reduced until we are caught up with the current lack of infrastructure or te kiwis stop coming back. Otherwise the problem will just get worse. This will take at least 5 years or boom times elsewhere.

          Now personally I’m all in favor of just removing kiwi passports from a lot of overseas kiwis and solving our nett migration that way. Generally I think our immigrants in my particular area (IT) are often of a higher standard. However I don’t think that is going to fly because that of course doesn’t include quite a lot of my relatives (who after all should be exempt from such a draconian measure).

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.1

            I tried to answer last night, but the site went down at about the time I hit ‘submit’.

            By and large there’s nothing to argue with in your list. But again. How does denying work visas to students who are here anyway address the supposed central issue of stress and strain on infrastructure? It doesn’t.

            As I’ve replied to Dukeofurl below, the general thrust and tone (not to mention some of the specific reasoning/arguments) of NZ Labour’s Immigration policy is frighteningly similar to UKIP’s one.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.1

              How does denying work visas to students who are here anyway address the supposed central issue of stress and strain on infrastructure?

              Because they won’t be here because being a student won’t be an automatic citizenship pathway as it is now. That’s what National’s complaining about – the reduction in foreign students that the policy will cause.

              • Bill

                Draco. I’ve known a fair number of international students. They were doing post grad studies. None of them received citizenship “as a right”. Any who wanted permanent residency or citizenship had to jump through numerous expensive and onerous hoops. And obviously, all were highly qualified – scientists in the fields of biology or marine biology.

                But nice to see you acknowledge that you just want international students to fuck off. Way to go. I mean, it’s not as though they make any contribution to NZ while studying and working here, eh? Spongers the lot of them! How dare they come here from the likes of France or Switzerland or Spain or Canada to study and, sometimes, pursue the goal of living here?

                • Craig H

                  If they’re coming to do a bachelor’s degree or higher, Labour’s policy will welcome them with open arms. If they’re here for a lower level diploma or certificate, they can still study, they just can’t work. This isn’t actually new policy – these student visa and graduate visapolicies were in place when Labour was last in office, but National made changes in 2011 and 2012.

                  If numbers drop, there will be less demand for rentals, which might make it a bit easier to find a decent rental.

                  • Bill

                    Sure Craig. They can come. But they can’t work. And that combination makes no impact whatsoever on the basic rationale for this whole fucking policy – stressed infrastructure and services.

                    Or does it make an impact? Am I missing something?

                    Oh. If numbers drop. I see. So highly qualified people (soon to be highly qualified) aren’t really welcome at all. ‘We’ want their numbers to drop, because that would be a good thing.

                    You’re aware that UK Labour (and I’m repeatedly mentioning them because ‘everyone’ seemed to be so excited about their policies) explicitly exclude international students from immigration numbers? And they do so on the basis that they are not permanent residents and because they contribute to the general economic well being of the country (particularly if they can work and spend that money back into the economy).

                  • saveNZ

                    There is nothing stopping NZ still welcoming overseas polytechnic students (who might want to study english as well as what ever the vocational course is), but don’t do it in Auckland!

                    Do it somewhere in NZ where they want people, and for gods sake don’t have NZ taxpayers propping up private business.

                    It is the residency visa scam I object too, and the fake courses with students just here to work cheaply while getting residency and having a fake qualification at the end of it, with the name of our country on it!

                    As well as it’s run often out of Auckland because the traffic alone is out of control and there is no public transport in many areas.

                    Stop the 180,000 working visas too because oversees students studying here, (apart from those overseas students on scholarship) should have to provide for themselves not be issued working visas as well as student visas and compete against NZ students.

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.1.2

              …but the site went down at about the time I hit ‘submit’.

              Sorry about that. I spent most of that night until 0400 swapping the the SSDs and hard drives out of two machines and getting both of them up and running again. It may be slower now, but I haven’t seen any unexpected crashes either. I’ll debug the ryzen quirks on my workstation.

        • Karen 5.1.1.2

          You can’t remedy the infrastructure problems in Auckland quickly – it will take a few years. If you lived in Auckland you would probably have a better idea of the problems of crazy rents and gridlock traffic. All over Auckland there are people living in cars, camped out in doorways, or living three families to a house. Is it all the fault of immigrants? Of course not, but there has been a rapid growth in immigration over the past few years and Auckland is where most go to live. Labour is talking about a “breather” in order to catch up on infrastructure, not a permanent reduction.

          I was really worried about this policy but it is actually a lot better than I feared. The low level private training courses needed to be scrapped – they are a rort that exploits migrants. The Pacific work schemes remain, with more monitoring to ensure they are treated fairly, and so do the working holiday visas. I like requirement that building workers must be paid the living wage as a minimum.

          I found the more detailed fact sheet more useful than the press release.
          http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1706/Immigration_factsheet_12Jun17_FIN.pdf

          • Bill 5.1.1.2.1

            Auckland isn’t NZ. Years of economic mis-management shouldn’t be placed at the feet of current or prospective immigrants.

            • Karen 5.1.1.2.1.1

              This policy does not blame immigrants for the lack of infrastructure. Auckland is not NZ but it is where nearly a third of the population lives and it is also where most migrants want to live. Basically, Auckland cannot currently cope with the numbers of people arriving so reducing immigration numbers until there is the infrastructure to cope seems reasonable to me.

              Obviously there needs to be regional development so that there is a better population spread and wages and working conditions have to be increased NZ wide (along with stronger repercussions for any employers who exploit workers).

              One of the reasons I like living in Auckland is because it is so multicultural and I am very aware of how easily racism can be encouraged by immigration policies. That is why i was so worried about what this policy was going to do, but I think it is actually okay. I don’t think Little has done a good job selling it, but he isn’t a great communicator, unfortunately.

              I think much of the criticism has come for people who haven’t read the detailed policy (http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1706/Immigration_factsheet_12Jun17_FIN.pdf) or have read it, but have already decided it will be racist because of Labour’s stupid Chinese names gaffe.

              You claimed that the British Labour Party one was better but I have read both and cannot imagine how you reached that conclusion. The BLP is mostly waffle with insufficient detail, and I note it stops free entry from EU countries, just like UKIP.

              • Karen

                Just announced is the Labour candidate for East Coast Bays, Naisi Chen, immigrant from China. She is replacing the white guy who complained that as a white middle class man his prospects in Labour were limited.

                https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/5773/attachments/original/1490759609/Naisi_Chen.pdf?1490759609

                That means the Labour candidates for electorates on the North Shore of Auckland are:
                A Māori man, a Korean woman, an Indonesian woman, a Filipino man and a Chinese woman. All are immigrants apart from Shanan Halbert who is tangata whenua.

              • Bill

                NZ Labour’s is largely targeting international students. Compare and contrast with UK Labour’s take on international students

                NZ Labour ‘constructs it’s immigration policy around claims about infrastructure stresses. UK Labour explicitly states that infrastructure stresses will not be laid at the feet of immigrants, or used as an excuse for developing any particular immigration policy.

                And so on.

                UKIP on the other hand…

                • Karen

                  UK Labour specifically says international students do not get permanent residency and fake courses will be closed down.

                  NZL says students attending courses that are below Bachelors level OR that are not assessed as good quality by NZQA will not get work visas and a road to permanent residency. This will affect less than 10% of the 130K international students who come here. Students completing quality courses will still be able to apply for permanent residency.

                  The announcement of NZL’s policy began by saying immigrants are not to blame for the failings in infrastructure.

                  • Bill

                    Erm no. UK Labour does not say that at all. What their policy points out is that international students are not residents and so they will not be counted in immigration figures.

                    Nothing wrong with shutting down privately run scams….something NZ Labour has shied away from.

                    That’s about ending exploitation. I wonder if you see the difference between coming down hard on avenues of exploitation (ending them) and coming down hard on students (excluding them or punishing them)? One tackles an underlying cause and one delivers a double whammy to people who are already getting ripped.

        • dukeofurl 5.1.1.3

          No one will be scapegoating those people here already

          No person currently in New Zealand will have their visa status changed by these decisions but new visa applications will be under the new rules. Existing students who came in good faith on the basis of the post study work visa being available will be able to access this visa

          There Bill, your concerns are taken care of. The changes will affect people who arent here yet.

          • Bill 5.1.1.3.1

            So you’re acknowledging that it’s a discriminatory policy but reckon that’s okay because it won’t be applied retrospectively? ffffsssssss!

          • Bill 5.1.1.3.2

            btw. Many care nurses arrive in NZ and have to undergo training in NZ. They then have six months to find a placement or they’re out on their ear…and then have to pay huge amounts of money all over again if they still want to live and work here.

            What do you think that does for the general level of wages and conditions within the care sector?

            Hint: here’s a desperate person who has to find a job (thinks the prospective employer), I wonder what wages and conditions I can get them to accept?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      If it’s true that National has failed to make the necessary investments in housing, infrastructure, and public services that are needed to cope with rapid population growth (as opposed to National have just let everything tank and things are fucked regardless of immigrant numbers as I suspect), then how does this plan to remove the ability to work for international students in low-level courses alleviate or address that problem in any way, shape or form?

      It allows us time to address the fuckups.

      Raise fucking wages

      What if we, as a nation, can’t afford to do that?
      What if our wages really are too high – especially those on wages of over $100k?

      …instead of fucking over the world’s poorer people!

      We’re a very small nation down at the bottom of the world. We cannot afford to have all the worlds poorer people immigrate here.

      • marty mars 5.2.1

        allows us time etc – you really believe that? why will the next and next government’s be any different from the last? – they won’t, that’s just wishful thinking. And even if the time is used – how much? 10, 20 years? 50 years?

        Your last sentence is illustrative – use hyperbole to overstate your position and minimize and shame the other positions. Weak technique.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          Hey Marty. Would be really interested on your general take of the three immigration policies through the links below if you can be arsed.

          This one is to NZ Labour.
          This is UK Labour (pdf. pp28 and 29)
          This is UKIP (pdf. pp 32 -34)

          Both the UK and NZ have knackered infrastructure and stressed services. The contrasting approach of UK Labour to NZ Labour and UKIP is quite striking to me or, to put it another way, the similarity of NZ Labour and UKIP is quite sickening.

          But maybe I’m being overly sensitive. So like I say, would value your take/impression.

          • marty mars 5.2.1.1.1

            I’m at home with flu, 2 and 9 year old and mum – and dog – in a tiny house. I’d like to read them but prob won’t until weekend.

            • Bill 5.2.1.1.1.1

              All good. Just whenever, if ever. And hope the flu takes a dive soon.

              Always sworn by fairly copious amounts of nice whisky when I feel a flu coming on (far more palatable than my grandfathers remedy of raw onions). Both seem to work.

              But hey, if it’s landed – too late. 😉

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2

          What a load of bollocks

          We really do need time to build the infrastructure to support those who are already here. Decreasing immigration will reduce the pressure upon the existing infrastructure and allow us time to build more.

          And it’s up to us to get the government to do what’s needed – not just hope that they will.

          And, no, the last sentence isn’t hyperbole. If we opened our borders up as you and Bill want we’d be swamped in a matter of months and probably with open warfare in the streets.

          You go on about how Māori culture was swamped by English culture and yet you don’t realise that the open immigration policy that pertained for a lot of the time after Ti Tiriti was signed helped that decline.

          You’re as much disconnected from reality as the RWNJs. There really are physical limits despite what you apparently want to believe.

          • marty mars 5.2.1.2.1

            Nice bigotry there drongo good to see your true colours.

            I said would the ‘time’ you say you need be used for the purposes you say you want the time for – not that hard to follow really. I didn’t think you trusted the government so much but there you go – you do when it suits you eh. C- please try harder.

    • dukeofurl 5.3

      Bill says
      “The message from Labour is the same as from UKIP and that is that you had better not be a Filipino care nurse or any such like.”

      Which means you havent even read the proposal- ITS ABOUR STUDENTS

      Filipina care nurses are normally qualified before they get here

      please read the policy before slagging it off

      • Bill 5.3.1

        Oh, but I have read the policy. And I read UK Labour’s policy and also I read UKIPs policy.

        I did it by way of comparing and contrasting the three.

        And in general thrust and tone, NZ Labour’s Immigration Policy is remarkably similar to…? 👿

  6. Blade 6

    Just when I was about to give Andy a pat on the back, he stuffs it up again by doubling the refugee quota. OK, it was a sop to wet ticket liberals, but has this guy not got a television? Refugees, especially Muslims, contribute to immigrant ghettos and terrorism overseas. It’s not all their fault. How do you crawl out of a third world shit hole and be expected to assimilate into a liberal western metropolis? Some do, and become great citizens. But it only takes one who doesn’t.

    For that reason alone you would have to be a half-wit to vote for Andy and his band of merry losers. Good luck Matt McCarten.

    • greg 6.1

      why do right wing nut jobs always resort to abuse and personnel attack they never deal with the real issues like where is the brighter future and the something special
      why has the nacts failed ????why are you nacts moron incompetence?????please explain

      • Blade 6.1.1

        Fair question Greg.

        When I first posted here a while back I was treated like crap. I quickly learnt if you don’t tow the company line you will be given a beat.

        So why make any pretence at being civil, especially when I have already posted I don’t vote National or Act. It’s just I think National is the better of two very poor options. However, they have no vision for the future, that down the line will cost us big time.

        Talking of abuse. I see your post has no content to it, apart from your nasty comments having that trademark vicious lefty edge mine don’t.

        [Ive just reviewed your comments. For instance this is the fourth comment you made – “Perhaps if he became anti semitic like the British Labour Party, things would change. Corbyn offers nothing more than May.” – looks like you have deliberately tried to flame from the start. Rather than “tow the company line” you have set out to be aggressive repeatedly. Stop flaming – MS]

        • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1

          Yup – no edge – you’re a dull blade, essentially a blunt instrument better suited to the crude environment of FailWhale.

        • BM 6.1.1.2

          I’m similar.

          National average, Labour/Greens clownsville, so it’s National by default.

          No wonder everyone dislikes politics and have no respect for politicians.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1

            National are proven liars that put in place policies that make the majority of people worse off while benefiting only the rich.
            Labour/Greens don’t.

            So, the only reason why you’d be voting for National is because you realise that they’re going to make it easier for you to steal from the rest of us.

    • dukeofurl 6.2

      There are large numbers of refugees coming from
      Myanmar
      Colombia
      Bhutan
      Sri lanka

    • ScottGN 6.3

      If this is all you have to bitch about then I’d say Little has done pretty well with this policy release.

      • Blade 6.3.1

        You a talkin to me? Or Greg?

        [lprent: Look at the indents or the numbers, which should make it clear. I expended quite a lot of effort on them specifically to minimise lazy dumb arses like you from having to bore me with such questions. ]

  7. David C 7

    Anyone got any numbers on how many students actually stay here after study?

    I know my daughter in law did! 🙂

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      Larry Williams reckoned 20% but that is plainly a false figure cooked up by some National Party defending department like Stats NZ.

      The zero government in control at the moment would have no idea what the figure is and they’ll refuse to find out too.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Must be pitched about right because even Fran O’Sullivan and Larry Williams didn’t go hard on it.

    There was a frank admission from Fran that a lot of people are concerned about immigration and will welcome this policy. Incredible that the right wing are beginning to recognise the people that are hurting because of the current government’s inaction on social issues.

  9. Blade 9

    Sri Lanka

    1- Love the people.

    2- Love their tea

    3- Love their Mangosteen.

    Why the hell would they want to come here?

  10. Foreign waka 10

    The fact that Mr English declares that growth and development depends on mass immigration scares me immensely. Does this mean that by that measure, the economy would be in recession if immigration would basically stop?
    On the flip side, at what point is NZ “developing” into shanty towns and slums due to housing issues and infrastructure problems?
    I belief a balanced approach is needed, absolutely.

    • lprent 10.1

      Does this mean that by that measure, the economy would be in recession if immigration would basically stop?

      Yes. Have a look at the balance of trade for the last couple of years. Look at the ten year balance of trade. Starts with the difficult GFC. Gets pretty good with the unsustainable dairy boom. Collapsed with the prices and has been limping along ever since until this years dairy increases starting to filter through.

      https://tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/balance-of-trade

      The high nett migration (ie settling costs) and reduced costs involved in travelling here have been staving off the lack of trading profit from impacting the local economy. Most of the unemployment has been soaked up by those. However both are unsustainable and both impact on infrastructure that this government hasn’t been fostering.

      The migration in particular is a simple Ponzi or Pyramid scam because it requires more and more nett inwards migration to keep the same benefits incoming. Effectively jobs are created to inwards migration that then depend on it. The problem is that it stresses existing infrastructure more and more while not allowing time to put enough in.

      The dairy payout for this year is currently the only thing starting to pull the economy out of what has been a small recession.

      • WILD KATIPO 10.1.1

        ‘ The migration in particular is a simple Ponzi or Pyramid scam because it requires more and more nett inwards migration to keep the same benefits incoming. ‘

        And the worst thing of all about this deliberate mismanagement was that it was planned with all the downside effects then minimized and denied. But surely it must have been known that it had a shelf life. You just cant keep on pursuing this sort of thing until the cracks show as they are now. Not unless you had a certain objective to achieve and were willing to commit political suicide in doing so …. a scorched earth policy to favour Australian banks if there was a major crash with a Labour party in power to bear the brunt of it ?

        Who knows…

      • Foreign waka 10.1.2

        Thank you for the feedback. I usually observe traffic, supermarket buying, pedestrian speed of walking by shops etc, This is usually a pretty good indicator how things go, at least for me. Right now, in my opinion, testing times. We seem to be standing still somehow and yet everything around us seem to become more and more run down, dilapidated for lack of a better description.

  11. Muttonbird 11

    Well, it’s official. Labour is right on immigration because Tracey Watkins has said so.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/93607998/the-governments-on-the-wrong-side-of-immigration-debate

    Watch for some catch up policy by Woodhouse in the coming days.

  12. Gosman 12

    Where’s the evidence that the skills category is being abused at the moment?

    • Um. Regularly reported on in just about all major news outlets and social services NGO’s reports….

      I find regularly keeping up with current events in the news sections a help , perhaps try that as well?

      Good luck and all the best.

    • Stuart Munro 12.2

      Large numbers of ‘skilled’ barista visas.

    • Craig H 12.3

      Depends on your definition of ‘abused’, but MBIE has proactively released reports under the OIA of the review of the Skilled Migrant Category (on the Immigration NZ website), and the salary outcomes are poor, and dropping over time, which is not something that should happen with this category. The cause of the drop over time, they surmise, is the increasing number of resident visas being issued in the hospitality sector, especially to Chefs, Restaurant/Café Managers and Retail Managers.

    • KJT 12.4

      Seen it myself. In my trades that have been in the “Needed skills” category for decades.

      There has been no opportunities for young New Zealanders to be trained, or find work, in my trades for 30 years, as positions have been filed by employers bleating to the immigration department. Wages have been so suppressed, that the few youngsters who managed to get apprenticeships, have moved to where they are valued. Places like Africa, Canada, Australia.

      The average age of the few New Zealanders left, is late 50’s.

      And. Saw it in Uni in the 90’s. Foreign students in the hostel taking any course that would keep them here long enough to find residency. Most preferred Australia. But NZ is an effective back door.

      • Bill 12.4.1

        So, is the problem immigrants, or is the problem low wages and conditions?

        Sounds like the latter to me.

        And if that’s the case, then how does stemming immigration solve the problem – unless the idea is just to have people here working for crap that can currently be foisted on immigrants?

        Over-haul employment law in such a way that wages and conditions rise. I’m picking that would go a long way to solving any skill shortage that employers are all too happy to exploit.

        • KJT 12.4.1.1

          The problem is not individual immigrants, but too many.

          I don’t blame the immigrants,. I blame those who want to open the door to more to exploit.

          A subtle distinction, Bill, that you appear to be missing.

          When are we going to shut the door.
          ?
          There is 60 million in Bangladesh alone, who would come here given half a chance. Of course NZ would then become, Bangladesh.

          Employers would not be able to drop wages, conditions and training if they could not bypass the process with immigration.

        • KJT 12.4.1.2

          Personally. I think if we are going to import an extra 20k people a year.
          Morally, they should be refugees, not the wealthy, or the middle class from poorer countries.

          • Bill 12.4.1.2.1

            Within a liberal capitalist system, immigration would ideally be managed to fluctuate in tune with that systems demands. Sometimes that would be managed to increase immigration and at other times to decrease it.

            Are those control measures to be blunt instruments (as per Labour’s immigration policy) or ones that are intelligent, equitable, flexible and well thought through?

            I don’t believe that 60 million people from Bangladesh would come here at the drop of a hat. People in general value their cultural and geographical roots. Maybe rationally optimising economic units are different in that respect, but they really only exist in the realm of economic fantasy.

            I wholeheartedly agree that any exploitation of immigrants should be dealt to. That involves looking at how immigrants are exploited and shutting down those avenues of exploitation (eg – bogus education courses run by the private sector). Dogging on immigrants isn’t any kind of a solution.

            Employers would not be able to drop wages and conditions if NZ had employment legislation that prevented employers racing to the bottom. Employing immigrants on lower wages and conditions that then act as a drag on general levels of wages and conditions only happens because NZ Employment Law is crap.

            On your second comment, an equitable immigration policy would satisfy the moral angle you raise. As an aside, most refugees tend to be middle class – those being the only people with the means to pay for access to various (usually illegal) routes across borders etc.

            • KJT 12.4.1.2.1.1

              “Employers would not be able to drop wages and conditions if NZ had employment legislation that prevented employers racing to the bottom”.

              We do have legislation on wages and treatment of workers.

              The fact that employers can simply replace anyone who complains, however, means that they are often ignored.

              The pool of potential immigrants to NZ, if we simply open the gates, is almost infinite.

              • Bill

                You merely reiterate my point that current Employment Legislation is crap – ie, whatever safeguards or measures that are meant to be in place can be ignored.

                Where in this thread have I (or anyone else for that matter) said “open the gates” btw?

                An aside. Open borders kill liberal capitalism dead, but this discussion is about immigration in the context of continued liberal capitalism 😉

  13. Sanctuary 13

    Don’t listen to the bleeding heart, out-of-touch radical liberals who are terrified their favourite tandoor may close or put it’s prices up.

    I worked for well over a decade at a very large and, supposedly, very respectable polytechnic and the scale of the rorting of the student visa program was unbelievable. Foreign students were taken on their ability to pay and it was was more or less pay to pass in many courses. “Foundation studies” courses for remedial basic English skills were largely ineffective and large numbers of students would have poor attendance records and/or arrive to study completely exhausted from long shifts. At a certain end of the market plagiarism is endemic, cheating so widespread students can be caught multiple times, exam answers are telegraphed in advance, and marking is, to put it politely, very sympathetic.

    In short, the private tertiary sector is riddled with corruption, sharp practice and exploited students. Anyone who has worked int hat sector over the last decade knows it. This crackdown is well overdue.

    • dukeofurl 13.1

      Thats a polytechnic, the private providers are worse.

    • The New Student 13.2

      And the Govt. wants to give these PTEs, sorry, “Independent Tertiary Establishments” more public money! Far out.

    • Stuart Munro 13.3

      At the high end it’s not much better – word of mouth is that well-heeled med students from the Gulf do not fit the traditional student role well. They don’t swot enough, they cheat, and they expect to pass simply because they’ve paid enormous fees.

    • Bill 13.4

      So shut the private sector out of education (kill off the sham courses) and stop beating up on immigrants.

      • Stuart Munro 13.4.1

        These ones are at Otago – but a Corbynist revamp of our universities so that they concentrate on local students instead of chasing the money of foreign students would not go amiss.

        You’re right that the foreign students are exploited – either for money or political points.

  14. dv 14

    This is a serious time bomb.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/93170524/90000-young-kiwis-have-no-job-no-training-to-go-to

    Every morning, Kyle Goldman logs on to job seeking sites, hoping to change his predicament.

    The 24-year-old is among the 90,000 young Kiwis aged 15 to 24 who are not in employment, education or training and risk becoming socially isolated. Almost 4000 of those are newly-unoccupied Cantabrians.

    • The New Student 14.1

      That’s a lot of young people being excluded from creating opportunities for themselves. What to do?

      • Cinny 14.1.1

        With the outgoing government doing nada, it’s def time for a change.

        How about a bit of free tertiary study to gain new skills? Labour, Greens, NZ 1st understand the importance and massive benefits to the economy that brings.

        Or… a building apprenticeship thanks to the Kiwi Build Visa… any unemployed out there who want’s to learn how to build? There will be plenty. Loving that, standing ovation idea that one.

        “Labour is also proposing a “Kiwibuild Visa” for residential construction firms who agree to pay the living wage to an overseas worker and take on an apprentice for every foreign worker they employ – it has estimated that would bring in a further 1000 construction workers on top of current levels (about 7000 a year).”

      • dv 14.1.2

        Well NS
        Charge for education via loans
        The introduce 90 day fire at will AND zero hr contracts.
        Allow large no of immigrants to take low paid job.

        And any income by the young person is loaded with student loan repayments.

        Thats what the Natz have done.

        • The New Student 14.1.2.1

          Oh snap, definitely what-not-to-do hey dv? Good ideas cinny, investment in people. I would add increased investment in student support services. You want good pass rates well some of your students/learners are going to need a bit of extra support to cross the finish line. Surely that’s easier than wasting money fighting over the limited pool of A+ elites to maintain a pass rate.

          Time for a change all right. Change in policy, in Government, in our attitudes.

  15. Blade 15

    A great consequence of Labours immigration policy is focus is back on the 90.000 unemployed- many whom are unemployable. While National has tightened up considerable on welfare, it’s obvious something is still wrong.
    Time to tighten the screws again, and not worry about any backlash.

    Its the usual timeline- lack of education> large families> welfare. If Labour wants kudos and traction, start here. But there’s a problem here for Labour, and even National wont go there.

    So the cycle perpetuates and we need more immigrants to fill job vacancies.

    • KJT 15.1

      Funny how so many young Kiwis became lazy after the mid 80″s.

      Nothing to do with deliberate policy choices to put people out of work, of course!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      many whom are unemployable… [sic]

      Then Blade goes full bigot.

      But let’s examine the first lie.

      Why are so many more youths “unemployable” whenever the National Party forms a government?

      Could it be that youth unemployment is caused by macro-economic factors and government policy? Certainly these notions form no part of whatever spoonfed poor Blade.

    • The New Student 15.3

      What’s ” unemployable”?

      Sorry boss I can’t fill those 90,000 orders became they don’t quite fit the mold we’ve already got. So I’m just going to leave all that potential business there, because it’s too hard for me to think of a way to accommodate any of it. In other words; it’s an inconvenience and I can’t or won’t be bothered. Its not my responsibility, everything should just conform to my needs.

  16. Cinny 16

    This is an excellent policy with wide spread support, well done Labour.

    Immigration can only work if we have the infrastructure and housing in place to handle it and we don’t and haven’t for some time, hence the housing crisis.

    Bonus points for the Kiwi Build Visa, there are so many young people who are longing to earn a trade, great news for any would be builders that are unable to afford to study. Brilliant, and well done for addressing the needs of the regions and the overcrowding of our biggest city.

  17. Mike Steinberg 17

    Sensible policy. Good to see a party actually doing something about one of the fundamental causes of the housing crisis.

    https://croakingcassandra.com/2015/06/23/immigration-policy-106-per-cent-of-net-new-housing-demand/

  18. Ad 18

    Unscary!

    Liking the 1:1 deal.

  19. Andre 19

    To me the most interesting part of the UMR poll in the linked Spinoff piece was the split between “allow more immigrants but deny social services” and “allow fewer immigrants but give full access to social support”.

    Given that european problems with immigrant-linked extremism come more from the generation after the migrant generation that are looking at a bleak future, it seems there’s a clear lesson about making sure immigrants become fully welcomed into society as full participating members. Which means NOT treating them as second-class citizens by denying social services.

    But on average, Nats and NZ1sters favour more immigrants but don’t spend money on them, while Greens and Labour supporters lean towards fewer immigrants but fully support them.

  20. Wainwright 21

    What is it people say about any sentence that begins “I’m not racist but”? Might apply to “Immigrants are awesome but” too.

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