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Immigration Review Must Promote Brain Gain

An immigration law review announced by Immigration Minister, Lianne Dalziel, raises questions of political competence, said ACT Immigration spokesman Penny Webster.

The Government has announced that it will review the entire immigration points system with an aim to increase the number of migrants allowed into New Zealand each year. The review will also examine whether the $1 million level of investment required for business immigrants should be lowered.

“The Minister, through her very uncoordinated approach, seems to be conducting policy ‘off the cuff’.

“When making her decision on overstayers Lianne Dalziel must have realised, given the imperfections in the current law, that the decision should have been deferred until the review was completed. This may have avoided the sight of people staging hunger strikes in our plentiful country.

“Ms Dalziel is right to review the immigration points system. Currently New Zealand has an overall immigration target of 38,000 people each year. This could be dramatically improved if the incentives were changed.

“For too long the New Zealand points system has been geared towards low skilled, ‘feel good’ acceptances. This has not only placed huge pressure on our infrastructure it has failed to replace our migrating professionals. New Zealand needs to attract high skilled, entrepreneurial migrants that can plug or reverse our brain drain.

“ACT welcomes a review of immigration policy that will provide, unlike the current ‘quota’ system, no barriers to a brain gain. Though given the Government’s current policy directions this appears very unlikely,” said Penny Webster.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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