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Dunne: NZ needs five million people by 2015

Media Statement For immediate release Thursday, 24 April, 2003

Dunne: NZ needs five million people by 2015

New Zealand's population today reached four million, but the Government should set a target of five million by 2015, United Future leader Peter Dunne said.

"If we are serious about New Zealand's future, then we need more people to drive economic growth, and this needs to be achieved through a well-planned population and immigration policy," Mr Dunne said.

"And we're told that in statistical terms the four-millionth Kiwi is an immigrant in the Tasman region. And that is quite fitting, as we need a minimum of 60,000 immigration approvals a year to complement our natural population growth.

"The fact is that we have our meandered our way to the four million mark with no particular vision or strategy, and that needs to change.

"The experts tell us we will peak at 4.8 million in about 2046, and then fall to around four million by the end of the century, but these figures aren't based on what we need, or on what is good for the country," Mr Dunne said.

"These are simply projections based on past trends. That is no way to run a country.

"A properly planned population and immigration policy would boost New Zealand's economic growth by anything from half a percent to one percent per annum," he said.

"We need to start with a 10-year population policy, and if possible, it should be based on multi-party agreement. This would be the blueprint for developing and enhancing a modern multi-cultural New Zealand with the capacity to generate increasing growth."


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