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Collapse In Skilled Migration Threatens Economy

Dr Wayne Mapp
National Immigration Spokesman

28 June 2004

Collapse in skilled migration threatens economy

A dramatic reduction in the number of skilled migrants looking to come to New Zealand poses a serious threat to our economy, says National's Immigration spokesman, Dr Wayne Mapp.

Figures obtained from the Minister of Immigration show that in the three months from May this year, just 1198 people with 150 points have expressed an interest in migrating to New Zealand.

"That's out of a maximum annual quota of 28,000 skilled migrants," says Dr Mapp.

"Clearly the Government's new immigration system isn't working.

"Unless we take a realistic view, there is no chance of attracting sufficient numbers of skilled migrants. This is something that a country like ours should never be faced with.

"The change to the new system has been shambolic and has done serious damage to our image overseas. Immigrants simply cannot trust this Labour Government and its handling of immigration policy."

Applicants with the 150 points required will have a tertiary qualification and a job offer in New Zealand.

"It is essential that the work skills quota be amended to enable potential migrants to come to New Zealand to seek work rather than expecting employers to hold jobs open for months as they migrate," says Dr Mapp.

"Such desirable migrants are looking elsewhere as this Government struggles to develop a coherent policy.

"The disgraceful state of our immigration policy is harming our ability to attract high quality migrants, something our economic future depends on," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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