Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Minister of Immigration Has Panicked


Minister of Immigration Has Panicked

The Government's overnight changes to immigration criteria appear to be a panic reaction to Winston Peters' inflammatory remarks, ACT Leader Richard Prebble said today.

"As we've studied what the Government is proposing, it appears to be an absurd over-reaction. Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel has conceded her changes two months ago are unworkable, which indicates a need for careful analysis before making criteria changes.

"A language test that says that every migrant must have university-level English just can't be right. To apply a test that forty percent of all school graduates would fail is extraordinary. If the Government really does believe that everyone needs university-level English, then it should be applied to migrants from English language countries. The prospect of migrants from Britain with needed trade skills being turned down because they don't speak university English - even Mr Peters would think that was absurd. But that's exactly what the Government is doing to migrants from other parts of the world.

"The Government's statements regarding the long-term business visa also don't stand up to analysis. The long-term business visa is an innovative policy whereby businesspeople can get a temporary three-year visa. They are required under the visa to set up a business in this country and to register for tax purposes with the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department. It was always understood that such business people may well continue with their business interests overseas, and for that reason were granted multiple entry visas, and for the Government to suddenly say it is surprised that a substantial number at any one time are overseas would indicate they don't understand their own scheme.

"From a taxpayer's point of view, the important thing is that these visa holders have to set up a business in New Zealand, and have to pay tax. The business visa holders are not entitled to permanent residence unless their business is a success which is an objective test. The reality is that just like all other businesses, a proportion fail and those who do have to leave.

"Previous governments have not been concerned about the English level of this category of visa holder because it is the visa holder and not the New Zealand taxpayer taking the risk.

"It may well be that long-term business visa holders who have good English do better, but as this category of visa holder can only get permanent residence if they succeed in business, it is over to the Minister to explain why any English language test is required.

"What she has conceded is that lifting the points level to thirty has meant that skilled tradesmen - something the country has a critical shortage of - no longer qualify.

"I do think that the level of English competency is a relevant factor to be included in any immigration system. But a test that I'm told that half the New Zealand-born population would fail does seem to be a panicked reaction," Mr Prebble said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election