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New Zealand not immigration-friendly

New Zealand is not a welcoming place for new migrants, National Immigration spokesperson Marie Hasler said today.

Most New Zealanders had a negative view of migrants whose first language was not English, Ms Hasler told the annual conference of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment, in Auckland. They did not acknowledge the talents, work ethic and entrepreneurial skills that most migrants contributed to New Zealand.

"Many new migrants fail to get
jobs because local employers are uncomfortable with unfamiliar accents, appearance and culture.

"Although many of us come from migrant stocks such as Irish, Dutch, Scots, Dalmation and Chinese, we have a bad record of prejudice against other cultures and lifestyles.

"We should remind ourselves what New Zealand was like before the influence of other cultures."

Ms Hasler suggested that the Association for Migration and Investment could take a proactive role in highlighting to the public the positive aspects of immigration.

"For example, the points system under which most migrants gain New Zealand residency ensures that New Zealand benefits from the talents of qualified and committed people who want a better life for their family,"

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