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Australia-New Zealand Immigration Tensions Rising

Australia-New Zealand Immigration Tensions Rising

Monday 4th Dec 2000 Penny Webster Media Release -- Other

Despite attempts to playdown the trans-tasman tensions, the Labour Government cannot just shrug off the serious concerns of an Australian cabinet Minister, said ACT Immigration Spokesman Penny Webster.

“Australia is our nearest neighbour and this conflict cannot be allowed to harm relations.

“Australian Immigration Minister, Phillip Ruddock is right, New Zealand has lowered its standards to fulfil its immigration targets. Rather than worry about a net gain we should be focusing on a net brain gain.

“Figures produced by the Australian Ministry of Immigration clearly demonstrate that immigrants to New Zealand are using our country as a backdoor way of "hopping to Aussie"

“While we can get defensive, surely it would be far more productive to face the facts and do something about it. If the Australians see “back-door migration” as a problem, and they obviously do, and we fail to act we could find ourselves looking at limited time restraints, the revocation of our special category visas or skill tests upon arrival.

“I understand that officials are currently having top level meetings to address the problem.

“The brain drain has accelerated under Labour and they must act to address it, not only to resolve the growing tension with Australia, but to ensure we build the skilled workforce vital to lifting our living standards,” said Penny Webster.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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