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Ministerial blunders behind immigration changes

Murray McCully MP National Party Immigration Spokesman

30 May 2003

Ministerial blunders behind immigration changes

Major immigration changes announced today have been criticised as "no way to make immigration policy," by National Party Immigration spokesman Murray McCully.

"Immigration policy needs to be predictable, transparent, certain and fair.

"The Minister's utterly unpredictable and incoherent approach to policy making, involving retrospective decision-making, late afternoon briefings and rushed legislation is no way to win confidence in our immigration policy," Mr McCully says.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of a series of Ministerial blunders.

"Having failed to address changes early enough, the Minister embarked on retrospective changes," says Mr McCully.

"Those changes were successfully challenged in Court.

"Now having lost that battle, the Minister is using legislation to do what she knows the Court of Appeal will not do," Mr McCully says.

"There must be a major question mark over the new Skilled Migrant Category which is essentially a souped-up version of the policy which operated in the 1980's.

"Such a policy is heavily dependent upon officials and politicians understanding and reacting to changing pressures in the employment market.

"The National Party believes that a more considered, consultative approach to policy making, with a clear objective of net benefit to New Zealand is conducive to immigration policy making a long term contribution to our growth," Mr McCully says.


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