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Shambolic immigration policy threatens economy

Dr Wayne Mapp

National Immigration Spokesman

21 April 2004

Shambolic immigration policy threatens economy

The Labour Government's catastrophic mismanagement of our long-term immigration strategy has lead to people leaving New Zealand faster than we can replace them. This will prove disastrous for our economy, says National's Immigration spokesman, Wayne Mapp.

His comments come in response to figures released today by Statistics New Zealand showing that in March permanent and long term departures exceeded arrivals for the first time in three-years.

Just 12 months ago there was a net gain of 1800 long-term arrivals, that figure has turned around to a net decrease of 300. The April figures are likely to be just as bad.

"Labour's immigration policy is a disgrace," says Dr Mapp.

"It's mismanagement of the skilled migrant quota and the business category in particular has damaged New Zealand's reputation overseas and the stringent points requirement has seen the door closed on all but a handful of potential migrants."

Permanent and long-term arrivals have decreased, relative to departures, for the past 13 months.

"This is an alarming trend and, if it continues, has the potential to limit job opportunities and to slow growth.

"The shambolic state of our immigration policy is impacting on our ability to attract quality migrants, something our economic security depends on," says Dr Mapp.

Ends


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