Immigration Changes Much Ado About Nothing
United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the changes to immigration policy announced this weekend are more a case of fine-tuning the existing system than profound change.
"As such, they are generally welcome, and opposition to them is really a case of much ado about nothing."
"The floodgates have not been opened, nor is there likely to be an influx of unskilled, unsuitable and undesirable migrants."
"Those who peddle that line are doing no more than attempting to exploit racial prejudice, given the current terrorist crisis, for political gain," Mr Dunne says.
Mr Dunne says even if the maximum limit of 50,000 new migrant approvals each year is reached, the net effect is likely to be around a population gain of only 10,000 people per annum.
"This is hardly bold or dramatic stuff," he says.
Mr Dunne says that the Government's announcement of a more relaxed approach to family members coming to New Zealand will be particularly welcome.
"This has been an area of huge frustration and tension up until now, and the new approach is likely to be beneficial."
"Overall, however, we still lack a coherent and integrated population policy."
"This country has the capacity to sustain a significantly larger population of around 5 million people, which, through judicious immigration policy, we should be aiming to achieve over the next 10 to 15 years."
"These announcements do not of themselves lead us in that direction," he says.