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Skilled migrants shouldn't be scapegoats

Skilled migrants shouldn't be scapegoats

Lifting the annual immigration target to 50,000 will help fill skill shortages and should be supported by all political parties, says Business NZ.

Chief Executive Simon Carlaw says the New Zealand economy needs more skilled migrants in several categories on an ongoing basis, and this shouldn't be jeopardised by point scoring or fluctuating targets.

"Some of the political rhetoric around the time that the Government tightened the skill selection criteria last year obviously undermined perceptions of New Zealand as a good place to settle.

"Prospective migrants with marketable skills don't have to come here. Other countries pay better. Certainly they won't want to come to a country where they're at risk of becoming political targets.

"The welcome sign has to go up and stay up," Mr Carlaw said.

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