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Migrants not charged new levy

12 July 2000 Media Statement

Migrants not charged new levy

The Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel, said today that National MP Pansy Wong's claims that migrants are to be charged a new levy to fund pilot settlement programmes are completely wrong.

"As I said last month when I announced the pilot settlement services programme, the $500,000 needed to fund the programme would come from the Migrant Levy, which was set up in 1998 by the former coalition Government, of which Pansy Wong was a member," Lianne Dalziel said.

"There is no new levy as Ms Wong claims."

Lianne Dalziel said the pilot programme will trial different approaches towards meeting the needs of recent migrants. It will also be open to innovative approaches from the community that build on existing services with the emphasis being on co-operation and co-ordination.

The Minister said she was aware that there are particular gaps in the business and professional migrant communities.

"I want to ensure that when business migrants come to New Zealand, they are put in touch with local business networks; when professional people come here, they are put in touch with local professional bodies.

"We need to do more to ensure that migrants receive the support they need to settle into their chosen country. This benefits the economic and social development of New Zealand as much as our migrant communities," Lianne Dalziel said.

ENDS

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