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Immigration Policy Remains Ad Hoc

The decision to remove visa free entry status from Thai and Czech residents highlights again the ad hoc nature of New Zealand's immigration policy, says United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

"It just continues the tap-on, tap-off policy that has plagued immigration policy for years."

"It is a recipe for long-term stagnation and uncertainty that does not reflect well on New Zealand," he says.

Mr Dunne says the decision highlights the need for a comprehensive population and immigration policy based on setting a desired population figure for New Zealand and then developing immigration programmes to achieve and sustain that level of population."

"We should be aiming to increase our population by over a million people over the next 15 years, to take full advantage of an increasingly more mobile world."

"However, decisions like the cancellation of visa free entry status to Thai and Czech residents do nothing but merely confirm the uncertainty and unpredictability of our immigration policy."

"Long term, moves like this help make New Zealand a less attractive destination for prospective migrants," Mr Dunne says.

Ends

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