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More evidence of botched skilled migrant policy

Hon. Tony Ryall MP National Immigration spokesman

27 October 2004

More evidence of botched skilled migrant policy

Changes to the Skilled Migrant Category, announced today, are a further admission that the Government's handling of immigration has left New Zealand stranded without enough skilled migrants wanting to come here, says National's Immigration spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"The chaotic introduction of the new points scheme saw New Zealand lose substantial credibility overseas," he says.

"National told the Government six months ago that their chopping and changing would cut skilled immigration, and it has. And it will take more than a swept-up advertising campaign to repair the damage."

Mr Ryall says applications by skilled applicants must be processed faster.

"Bizarrely, under Minister Paul Swain it is easier to get an unskilled relative into New Zealand than it is a skilled migrant with a job."

He says the Government also needs to change its attitude toward agriculture.

"This is an industry that requires many skills and experiences that the Government's scheme does not recognise.

"An advertising campaign will not be the be-all and end-all of our country's problems. Strong domestic policies are also needed to attract quality immigrants.

"We need lower taxes, safe streets, and good schools and hospitals. National will do more to encourage those on welfare into work.

"Sadly, the Government is not addressing any of these issues," Mr Ryall says.

ENDS


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